Excerpts from Who was Sinclair Beiles? will be read by French actor Emmanuel Barrouyer at the Beat Hotel Revisited event in Paris on Friday, 3 November 2017. The event is organised by Tsunami Gang, Tsunami Books and Paris Surrealiste, and presented by Henrik Aeshna and Steve Dalachinsky.
An article recently appeared in South African Jewish Report about the unmarked grave of Sinclair Beiles in Westpark Cemetery, Johannesburg. There are several inaccuracies in the article, as well as spelling mistakes. I also did not take the photo of Beiles's grave that appears in the article. When the journalist contacted me, I thought she was referring to some photos of Beiles's grave that I had posted on Facebook a few years back.
The once prolific yet totally unsung and overlooked poet, died 17 years ago and to this day no one has honoured him with a tombstone befitting a man who lived a less than ordinary life.
Sinclair Simon Maurice Beiles was arguably South Africa’s best Beat Generation poet. He was once described by the legendary beloved Jewish singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as “one of the best poets of the century”. Read more
Inside flap of Sinclair Beiles's Tales, published by Gryphon Poets, Johannesburg, in 1972. The price was R3.90. Nowadays you can pick up copies on abebooks.com for anything between R3 000.00 and R4 500.00.
There’s more than a touch of self-importance in the way
they pose for the photograph. It’s most obvious in the way they hold their
cigarettes, like would-be film stars – Humphrey Bogart, Yves Montand, with a
touch of Montgomery Clift. But you can also detect a sense of achievement; the
idea that they have stumbled upon something revolutionary and sublime.
The date is 13 April 1960. The place is the English
Bookshop in the Rue de Seine on Paris’ Left Bank, a few blocks from their
informal headquarters, a nameless flea-ridden lodging a.k.a. the Beat Hotel. On
the left of the black and white picture you see Swiss-born Canadian surrealist
Brion Gysin. For a guy with a bitchy reputation he seems almost jovial, saying
something to William Burroughs who is standing next to him, looking pale and
gaunt, as befits the author of two controversial novels, Junky and The Naked
Lunch. Spring has set in, but Burroughs is still wearing his hat and long coat.
Digesting Gysin’s wit, he manages a faint smile, which makes him look
momentarily handsome ... Read more.
Who was Sinclair Beiles? is a compilation of writings about South African Beat poet Sinclair Beiles, co-edited by Gary Cummiskey and Eva Kowalska. Contributors are Gary Cummiskey, Eva Kowalska, Alan Finlay, George Dillon Slater, dawie malan, Earle Holmes, Heathcote Williams, Carl Weissner and Fred de Vries. It was originally published by Dye Hard Press, Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2009. A revised and expanded edition was published in 2015. Who was Sinclair Beiles? is distributed to bookstores throughout South Africa by Bacchus Books.However, copies can be ordered directly from the publisher.Email email@example.com for order details.