A Simple Guide to Putting On Your OWN Kerouac Effect Event

What is The Kerouac Effect?

The Kerouac Effect is essentially an annual Celebration of Poetry & Music, the joining of the two art forms, a celebration of that aspect of Beat Poetry and of course a celebration held on the birthday of Jack Kerouac, March 12th (it's ok to have it at a close date if it really doesn't work, but best if it is that one because we're trying to do it internationally on the date)

T.K.E 2013 was the first time we ran internationally and the first time we brought in the 'Blind Date' pairing.The event was run as series of 'musical marriages' or 'blind dates' between musicians and poets.

Some simple tips to get you started:

The poets and musician pairings will be drawn from a hat 7 weeks beforehand and will be asked to come up with about 15 mins or maybe 2 poems (all depending on how many pairs you have and how long your night is). there are no hard and fast rules as to how long these should be and i'll leave it up to the individual organisers as to how they run their nights. Bear in mind though, that you don't want one pairing to take up all the stage time to the detriment of others.

The initial Pairing should be done 7 weeks beforehand on or around Jan 22nd. again this is at the organisers' discretion but i think it is important to make sure that people have enough time to meld musically and poetically: there are no hard rules that only the poet write the words or only the musician write the music.

If thepoet and musicians can't "work it out" or don't get on, then they should contact the event organisers and pull out but with such broad guidelines, there shouldn't be too  much in the way of problems with this. As an organiser you can try to mediate or maybe look for other poets or musicians or offer to swap people around, but from my experience of running 'Dirty Wordz live sessions' in Auckland, people love it.

As organisers you would mainly be doing the following:

  • Organise to find and book a venue in your area which is suitable for having poetry and music that is able to accommodate the size of your poetry community. please book for the event as soon as possible. If you are having trouble with this, contact me, Shane Hollands and I will try to help.
  • Contact/gather together a list of interested musicians and poets and arrange for everyone to meet and greet preferably on the 'draw' date of Jan 22nd and pair people up by drawing their names from a hat. this can be a fun evening on its own.
  • Organise a small p.a to be available; musicians may be able to help with this. Musicians should bring along their own instruments or arrange to share if possible. Please discourage them from bringing 'extra' musicians as pairs are easier to set up on stage and run with. Bands could take too long to set up and it kind of ruins the concept. That being said, you make the rules.
  • I would encourage you to have a guest poetry music band from the area as break entertainment if you have one in your area.
  • Hold your event!
  • I would like people to charge a small fee or koha (donation) for the event - reasonable advertising/organisational/venue costs (if you can't get one for free) may be taken from this. ALL left over profits should be given to an appropriate poetry or music charity eg: Books in schools, music therapy charities. please hold records of all this.
  • I do not want you sending any money to me or other organisers.
  • I will try to organise some forms of sponsorship to help cover advertising the event in their local areas and possible some small memento for the participants. any help locally would be much appreciated.
  • If possible I would love it if you could arrange to video tape a message to T.K.E from your 'pairing' meeting (and night if you want) as this will be our first international one, I'd like to play these at the start of T.K.E and will set up a private youtube channel for this purpose. Please send them to me at shanehollands@gmail.com

We also have a facebook community page.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read all this and I hope that you are interested in bringing the concept to your area. If you have any problems/questions/suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me, just don't leave it to the last minute and expect miracles from me.

Jack was human with human faults and I am too.

Most of all please enjoy your The Kerouac Effect. It is supposed to be fun and that is surely how Jack would have wanted it.

Yours sincerely,
Shane Hollands
The Kerouac Effect