The University of Birmingham will host an evening of poetry reading by acclaimed British Beat writers, as part of the Jack Kerouac ‘Back On the Road’ exhibition, on Wednesday 21 January at 7.00pm. 

The Beats were a group of writers and poets who, in the late 1940s and 1950s led a rebellion against what they saw as constrictive ways of writing, in search of more direct and engaged ways of addressing post-war realities, most often by writing of and from their own experiences. 

These writers came to believe that oral performance in front of a live audience was the best way of conveying the youthful energy they wished to capture and the anger they felt.  Their styles became internationally influential, especially in the UK in the late 1950 and 1960s. 

The poetry evening will feature poets such as Ian McMillan, host of BBC Radio 3’s programme ‘TheVerb’, David Tipton, Dick McBride and Camelia Elias, prose-poet of international reputation, who will all be reading from their own work. 

The event will be held at the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students, Edgbaston Park Road.  Tickets cost £6 (£4 for students) and can be bought at the door or in advance from


Notes to Editors

Jack Kerouac, ‘Back on the Road’ runs until 28 January 09 at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.  The exhibition features the original typescript  of ‘On the Road’ – the world famous 1951 scroll.  Entrance is free. 

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.