River City Reunion                  photographs

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the Event:  River City Reunion  

William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Keith Haring, Marianne Faithfull, Andrei Codrescu, Michael McClure, Danny Sugerman, Ed Sanders, Jim Carroll, Ed Dorn, John Giorno, Anne Waldman, ... and many others participants.

In September of 1987 a group of visionary poets, artists, and performers representative of the cultural and literary movement known as the Beat Generation gathered in Lawrence, Kansas for a week-long literary festival of readings and diverse activities. The photographs presented here document some of the highlights of this event. Perhaps even more significantly, they stand as a testament to the pre-digital, post-hippie era of the late 1980’s, revealing a moment in time which, seen from the vantage point of 25 years down the road, poignantly evokes a sense of how things have changed. 

The aim of the River City Reunion, according to the event organizers James Grauerholz and William Rich, was to bring together many people of differing professions and histories who had ties to Lawrence, Kansas and who helped ‘feed the wellspring of cultural currents that watered the nation’. The line-up of participants, starting with longtime Lawrence resident William Burroughs, included some of the core members of the influential Beat Generation movement.   Although many of the performers at this event have since died, their work remains relevant to the 21st century.