Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

MVHS First Wednesday Event – Mill Valley Beat Poets and Authors

February 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


 “Mill Valley Beat Poets and Authors”

Locke McCorle and Al Young
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017
7 PM,  Mill Valley Library
Click here to register

In 1955, Locke McCorkle rented a piece of property for $25 dollars a month on a quiet street named Montford, in a sleepy suburban enclave called Mill Valley.  The property was primitive with two small, rustic houses that would become the nexus of gathering for Locke and his friends, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley and Philip Whalen.  This vanguard group of counter-culture thinkers pushed the social envelope of the day.  Kerouac actually used that envelope as scratch paper to write a book about friendship and Buddhism and hiking and he called that book, The Dharma Bums

Join longtime friends, author Locke McCorkle and poet Al Young, as they savor and explore this magical time in Mill Valley’s history when the Beat movement caught fire under redwood and eucalyptus trees in a mountain town just a stone’s throw from a busy urban area perched on the precipice of change. 

Locke McCorkle
Locke grew up in Eureka, California. After studying English and French at Humboldt State University, he moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley, but quickly changed course after hearing Alan Watts’ lectures on eastern spirituality.  This led Locke to the California Institute of Asian Studies where he studied Zen with Alan Watts, Sanskrit with Frederic Spiegelberg and Indian Philosophy with Haridas Chaudhuri.  Locke loved the new dimension these studies added to the culture he’d inherited.  During his time at the Institute he befriended the poet Gary Snyder, with whom he moved to Mill Valley in the late 1950s.  Through Snyder, Locke became acquainted with many of the Beats, including Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg.  Locke himself served as a model for one of the major characters in Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums.  Locke now lives in Palo Alto with his wife, writer Carole Simone, and their beloved, bearded collie, Rumi, but still counts Mill Valley as his favorite place to live.

Al Young
Born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the eldest of seven, Al Young is the author 25 books (poetry, fiction, essays and a memoir).  Published in Paris Review, Essence, The NY Times, and Ploughshares, Al served California as Poet Laureate 2005-2008.  

His honors include Wallace Stegner, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, as well as two Pushcart Prizes, two American Book Awards, the Richard Wright Award for Excellence in Literature, and the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Award.  He has written screenplays for Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor.  He has taught poetry, fiction writing and American literature at U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Davis, and many other distinguished universities across the country.  Al’s work is included in The Best American Poetry 2016.  He presently lives in Berkeley, California.


February 1
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:


Mill Valley Historical Society


Mill Valley Public Library
375 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941 United States
+ Google Map