Thursday, November 24, 2011

Letter to Gerard Bellaart from Sinclair Beiles, 1970

Courtesy of the Cold Turkey Press archive

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sinclair Beiles, Action Poet by Shaun de Waal

South African poet and writer Sinclair Beiles has not always received favourable attention in his home country. Now, however, he and his work have been placed at the centre of a major celebration of the Beat Generation and The Beat Hotel.

The Institut Francais d'Afrique du Sud, in conjuction with the British Council, has put together a range of events that includes an exhibition of photographs by Harold Chapman, a partial reconstruction of the famous Beat Hotel, films including a documentary on Beiles, a multimedia show, and a lecture by Donald Moerdijk (born in South Africa, he is now a professor at Paris's Ecole Normale Superieure).

The Beat Hotel - a pension on Paris's Left Bank, at 9 Git-le-Coeur, run by the accommodating Mme Rachou - came to be nicknamed due to the transient artists and writers it housed, among them William Burroughs, Harold Norse, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Gregory Corso and of course Beiles.

Beiles, a South African born in Uganda,collaborated with Burroughs, Gynsin and Corso on Minutes To Go, a slender volume of poetry made using a revolutionary method - the cut-up.

Burroughs, particularly, took to the concept of chopping up pieces of text and reassembling them at random. "Cut the word-lines" he would later urge, theorising that the bizarre new meanings thrown up by such a poetic method would help subvert the agents of social control, one of whose tools, it was believed, was "rational" language.

When I interviewed Beles some years ago, he began by flipping through some old volumes of his work, reading snippets from each, in arbitrary order, into a tape recorder - producing an impromptu cut-up.

This method of composition, however, was only one element of Beiles's work. His 1969 collection of poems, Ashes of Experience, which won the Ingrid Jonker Prize, has enough of a sense of detachment without requiring the physical fracturing of the text:

And the women smile from their doorways
at the stranger
who carries his heart
in his hand.
He walks about the marketplace
as if risen from the dead
an ancestor
come to see his people
trading old coins
stamped in his likeness.

"I was coming from absolutely nowhere," Beiles told me. "I found myself an exile in Athens. No books, no clothes, no possibility of integrating myself into society. I had a notebook and a pencil, but knew hardly anybody. I started writing one or two poems a week in between wandering around aimlessly in Athens. Occassionally I showed poems to people in cafes and got a drink or something to eat in return."

(Published in Mail & Guardian, January 30, 1997)  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sinclair Beiles, 1972

Courtesy: James de Villiers

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beiles's Sacred Fix and other hits on auction in New York, by Mike Alfred

Sinclair Beiles, South Africa's own Beat poet, believes that when Paul Getty bought a first-edition Chaucer and Harry Oppenheimer bought the manuscript of Cry, The Beloved Country for large sums, such purchases marked a growing interest in the commercial exchange of literary memorabilia.

Beiles has just been invited to submit items to be included in a Sotheby's New York auction of Beat poets' original renderings and associated objects. The sale is scheduled for October 6 and according to Beiles is likely to signal the upsurge of a spate of millenial interest in the authors of the 20th century. "I think people are getting tired of bidding for furntiture," ventures Beiles.

Apparently not all that appreciated in South Africa, land of Beiles's birth and education at King Edward high school and Wits university, he is better known and recognised for his work in Europe where he associated with such notables as William Burroughs, Harold Norse and Allen Ginsberg. 

Indeed, it is Bill Morgan, the archvist of the Allen Ginsberg Trust, who has invited Beiles to submit items for sale in association with other well-known Beat poets. Beiles observes that while his work features in the "Whitney Museum's handsome book on the Beats",  his contribution has been ignored by the compilers of A Century of South African Poetry.

Among the items Beiles is submitting is his critically acclaimed Sacred Fix, published by Cold Turkey Press, Rotterdam, 1975. Also to appear is his current favourite, Springtime at Raubenheimer's, a limited edition of short, humorous poems published last November.

Sotheby's has placed a $1 000 reserve on each lot and Beiles is submitting a number hopefully calculated to alleviate the cliched plight of the impecunious poet.

Beiles asserts that it is high time poetry was recognised as offering some genuine financial worth.

(Published in The Sunday Independent, July 25 1999)

Glad of my Fever

A poem card published in a limited edition by Cold Turkey Press, France

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beiles collection published in USA, by Percy Baneshik

The poet most markedly without honour in his own country, Sinclair Beiles, has once again demonstrated that, as prophets go, he is distinctly not without honour in the outer world.

This time the recognition comes in the shape of a new book, published by Lapis Press in Venice, California, rounding up a selection of his verses over several decades.

Though the volume bears a somewhat uninspiring title, A South African Abroad, it comes with a resounding accolade from the publishers, who happen to be of a particularly selective frame of mind in their publishing. They specialise in publishing contemporary poetry by leading poets of the day.

The foreward to the book is contributed by Nanos Valaoritis, professor of world literature at San Francisco State University.

Why the rather flat title? Certainly the poetry is a reflection of Beiles's sojourns abroad in countries ranging from Greece to Spain, Italy, Tangier and a few other areas of reflective wanderering. But the title is a sort of poetic inversion.

In Valaoritis's lengthy introduction, the inversion becomes clear."Sinclair", says Valaoritis, "takes the South African experience as a springboard to symbolise all oppression, all persecution, all bad taste,all flattening-out uniformity, and all monsterous brain-washing..."

The professor categorises the Johannesburg poet as "an internal exile in South Africa", speaking of  "the taste of euphoric exile in all of his poems" which derive from his wanderings, "always de passage from one place to another".

Valaoritis cites Beiles's "political moments", declaring downrightly "I wouldn't say Sinclair is a hero like Breytenbach... but he is, in his best moments, as good a poet..."

In light of this assessment, appearance of the collection in California strikes a special note. It underscores the fact that, strangely, Beiles has never been included in an anthology of South African poetry.

He has won prizes like the Ingrid Jonker Memorial Award, the William Plomer Award and the Lord Byron Award, a prize handed out by the French Friends of Lord Byron Poetry Society, which Beiles won for his 1976 collection, Sacred Fix. Other recipients of this award have been TS Eliot and Robert Graves.

But election to a locally compiled anthology of poetry has eluded him.

He has wondered about this, pointing out that publication in local anthologies is the most important way of getting known by students, who are the main readers of poetry.

The new collection, A South African Abroad, culled from volumes Beiles has brought out in South Africa over the years ... will be published by Lapis Press...Priced in the US  at $12,95 (approx R33). It will be avaulable in bookstores in South Africa soon.

(Published in The Star, February 14, 1991)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Following the flight path of the poet's imagination: Robert Berold's review of A South African Abroad

Sinclair Beiles grew up in South Africa and went into exile in his 20s. By 1958, aged 28, he was in the midst of the international avant-garde, working for the Olympia Press in Paris, living in the famous Beat Hotel, collaborating on the cut-up work Minutes To Go with William Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Gregory Corso. In the 1960s he migrated to Greece and Tangiers: by all accounts one of the proto-hippies.

In 1969 Beiles's first collection of poetry, Ashes of Experience, was published in Souh Africa by Wurm. Five more books followed. Beiles returned from exile a few years ago and now lives in Johannesburg, where he is active in poetry readings and poetry/jazz performances.

This selection, elegantly produced by Lapis Press, is a mark of the international recognition that Beiles has received. It also begs the question why his work does not appear in any of the standard anthologies of South African verse. Could it be that South Africa is not ready for his knd of pransker surrealism?

This is not the kind of poetry we are used to, but that does not make Beiles a bad poet. The poems in A South African Abroad are literate and readable explosions. They are poems with a sense of humour - even better,a  sense of fun. They work through a loose surrealism, like playfulness reminiscent of French poets like Cendrars or Michaux.

It may seem that the poems go off on tangents which go off on further tangents until the subject is lost.  To look at them this way is to misread them. The real subect is the flight path of the poem's energy ( the aeroplane image is the poet's):

My condition is lamentable - to me anyway.
I keep a kind of old flying machine stability
On a cupboard full of drugs
And as I fly through the day
I can hear my nerves creaking...
If some small magazine editor happens to
drop into your office
Or into your soup in the form of a fly when
You eat at
The arts laboratory
Perhaps you can pull out this work for his
Tell him I have terrible dreams.
(from 'Terrible Dreams')
Admittedly whem this type of poetry doesn't take off, it crashes: as in the rhymed poems about the crucifixion. But most of the time it is full of unexpected pleasures:
You can meet someone on the train
And forget about your brokenheartedness.
Now affairs on trains are permissible.
But they will break up.
There's either not enough money to pay for the fare
Or not enough love.
"Goodbye lost love alone on the railway station!"
Maybe you'll die on the railway station
Like Tolstoy clutching an icon.
Or maybe you'll start another affair
Perhaps with a farmer who's come to collect
A prize cow from the goods train.
Life on a farm is not too bad.
There are no traffic lights but there are compensations.
Both the railways and God help the brokenhearted.
See the view from the train window!
Poppies!Yellow grass!
(from 'Brokenhearted Travellers')  
A South African Abroad, despite its title, has almost nothing in its content identifiably South African. But there is something about its style - naive recklessness, joller instinct - which is distinctly of this country. In this Beiles is as tuned in to the mind of South Africa as many a poet of irony or outrage. A selection of his work needs to be republished here, especially since the imported price of this book, about R50, is prohibitively expensive.
(Published in The Weekly Mail, 27 September 1991) 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The passing of a poet: an obituary for Sinclair Beiles, by Shaun de Waal

Sinclair Beiles, who died on November 3 [2000] at the age of 70 in Johannesburg Hospital, was one of South Africa’s more unusual and often underrated poets. He was the first winner of the Ingrid Jonker Memorial Prize for poetry in 1970, but in later years was reduced to photocopying his poetry and plays and donating them to libraries to ensure, as he put it, that they would go on record.

Beiles was born in Kampala, Uganda, and educated in South Africa. During the 1950s and 1960s he travelled the world, establishing links with the beat generation of writers, particularly William Burroughs. He collaborated with Burroughs and artist Brion Gysin on early experiments with cut-ups – work in which the text was chopped up and then reassembled semi-randomly. The results of their first experiments were published as Minutes to Go. Burroughs continued to use this technique throughout the Sixties. Beiles also worked with Burroughs on the composition of Naked Lunch, in Tangier in the late Fifties, along with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and helped get it published by Maurice Girodias’s Olympia Press in Paris (where Beiles later stayed in the famous “beat hotel” along with Burroughs and Gysin). Naked Lunch went on to become one of the most influential texts of the Sixties counterculture and subsequently post-modern literature in general.

Beiles’s own poetry made less use of an intentional cut-up technique, but reflected a lack of concern with traditional poetic virtues, relying instead on raw energy and an immediate unedited apprehension of the poet’s reality. Beiles’s 1969 volume, Ashes of Experience, was his first substantial publication, written largely during a stay in Greece.

Beiles returned to South Africa in the Seventies and became a fixture of the Yeoville demi-monde in the Eighties. He often performed his poetry live, at venues such as the Black Sun, and was memorialised in Anton Kotze’s documentary Sacred Fix. He continued to write prolifically until his death. Among his later publications were the plays in verse, The Needle Vestel and Three Plays: Picasso as told by Max Jacob, and the poetry collections The Golden Years and Aardvark City. His selected poems were published in the US under the title A South African Abroad.

‘The Beats are traditional writers,’ said Beiles, ‘and among our tradition I am the only one who has chosen Chaucer as my model. Like Chaucer I am both classical and spontaneous. My role is as a pure poet. I don’t do anything but poeticise.’

He was buried on November 7 in West Park cemetery.

(Published in Mail & Guardian, November 10 2000)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

To the Tribunal newspaper

From Sinclair Beiles's Deliria, first published by Cold Turkey Press, Rotterdam, 1971, reprinted by Small Spaces Press, Johannesburg, 1995.

Sinclair Beiles entry on Wikipedia

Sinclair Beiles (b. Kampala, Uganda, 1930, d. 2002, Johannesburg) - was a South African beat poet and editor for Maurice Girodias at the Olympia Press in Paris. He developed along with William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin the cut-up technique of writing poetry and literature.

Beiles was involved with American beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Brion Gysin, and Burroughs at the legendary Beat Hotel in Paris. The photographer Harold Chapman recorded this period in his book The Beat Hotel (Gris Banal, 1984). He co-authored Minutes to Go with Burroughs, Gysin and Corso (Two Cities Editions, 1960). Beiles helped edit Burroughs' Naked Lunch...Read more here

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last Words

Poem card published in limited edition by Cold Turkey Press, France. The poem originally appeared in the collection Dowsings, 1982 ( publication date also sometimes given as 1979)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Idiot's Voice

A poem card published by Cold Turkey Press in a limited edition of 36 copies.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nanos Valaoritis on Beiles

"One can even characterise him as a post-modern author, thanks to the ironical distance of his tone. And there is a definite tone to his poetry, an unmistakable and recognisable style that belongs to him exclusively.

"Perhaps it is because of this that he has always been treated as an alien, a stranger,an intruder, which all importanrt poets have been in their own time." - Introduction, A South African Abroad: Selected Poems

Monday, June 13, 2011


Small collection of poems published  by Propwash Publications (Halfway House), 1978. Drawings by Jemima Hunt. In my opinion not one of Beiles's best works, however a copy  (from poet Alan Ansen's library) is currently going for $108.63 (excluding postage) on

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Poem card published in a limited edition of 36 copies by Cold Turkey Press.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Burroughs on Beiles

"The poetry of Sinclair Beiles is distinguished and long-distilled; its unexpected, striking images bring a flash of surprised recognition. These poems open slowly in your mind, like Japanese paper flowers in water." - Williams Burroughs

Friday, June 3, 2011

Greek Interlude by Marta Proctor

Chabook of poems published in 1982. Two Cities Editions was a local imprint created by Sinclair Beiles and his wife Marta Proctor,  mirroring Jean Fanchette's Two Cities, in Paris.

Thus, despite the location of the imprint on the cover given as 'Paris', my impression is that the chapbook was in fact published in South Africa.

Sinclair Beiles in Beat Scene

Beat Scene No 64, features articles about Diane de Prima, William Everson, Jay Landesman, Anne Waldman, Janine Pommy Vega, Gary Snyder and William Burroughs, as well as a slightly shortened version of the eponymous chapter of Who Was Sinclair Beiles? by Gary Cummiskey, and more. Visit Beat Scene for details.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

her conversation is utterly without interest...

A poem card -  part of series featuring poems by Sinclair Beiles -  published by Gerard Bellaart's Cold Turkey Press, France.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

’n Roerende chaos

Indien jy wil weet hoe jy in die laaste dekade verander het, hoef jy net ’n boek of ’n gedig te lees waarvan jy tien jaar gelede gehou het. Só het ek agtergekom vele literêre helde het intussen saam met my jeugdige romantiek en boheemse versugtinge gesneuwel.

Onder hierdie dooie ikone tel die meeste skrywers van die Beat-generasie wat die wêreld- letterkunde in die 1950s onherroeplik verander en die deure afgeskop het vir die kontra-kulturele revolusie van die 1960s..Read more here

Friday, May 13, 2011

Collected works worth the effort: Fred de Vries interviews Gerard Bellaart

A Dutch publisher has been the self-appointed custodian of the works of SA poet Sinclair Beiles — who, he says, is a vastly underrated peer of the likes of Kerouac and Burroughs

A HAMLET in rural France, surrounded by sunflowers and vineyards, isn’t the most likely place to find a huge archive of the writing, letters, photos and pictures of SA’s legendary “beat poet”, Sinclair Beiles (1930-2000).

It’s almost surreal to see Dutch artist and publisher Gerard Bellaart carrying box after box of Beiles material from his studio so his visitor can work his way through piles of typed and handwritten pages, and marvel at the picture of Beiles and his American chum, Gregory Corso, in Athens in 1967. “I have some 1200 pages of unpublished material,” says Bellaart, who first encountered Beiles in 1967 in Greece, and kept up a correspondence with him until his death in 2000.

“It includes some stunning work, like The Idiot’s Voice and Inmates, which he wrote in a loony bin in London, where he met actress Sally Willis. She started a kind of therapy for him by giving him four subjects every day, which he would then turn into poetry. I also have the correspondence between them, which is extremely beautiful and touching.”

Beiles has often been dismissed as a marginal character in the beat history that was spearheaded by American writer Jack Kerouac in the mid-’50s. Beiles was responsible for the editing of William Burroughs’s masterpiece, Naked Lunch. And, with Burroughs, Corso and Brion Gysin he wrote Minutes to Go (1960), a tiny book that heralded the cut-up experiment in literature: writers doing a kind of remix of existing texts.

Beiles was born in Kampala, Uganda, in 1930, the only child of Jewish South African parents, who moved back to Johannesburg when their son was six years old. He studied at Wits University and left SA in the mid-’50s.

After time in New Zealand, Spain and Morocco he moved to Paris, which was then the centre of international bohemia. He stayed in the notoriously anarchic Beat Hotel on Rue Git-le-Coeur, a stone’s throw from the river Seine.

He became involved with the American beats. He also worked as an editor for Olympia Press, brainchild of maverick publisher Maurice Girodias, who not only gave us “forbidden” erotic pockets but also seminal literary work by the likes of Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov and Burroughs.

BEILES a beat writer? Way too facile, insists Bellaart. “I wouldn’t call him a beat poet. That’s such an empty phrase, it means nothing to me. Kerouac and those guys were no influence on Sinclair. I think he found them a bunch of country bumpkins.

“His cultural background was very European. They also didn’t have an eye for things visual. Sinclair had an exceptional eye for visual art.”

When the Paris scene fell apart in the early ’60s, most participants drifted south, doing the “karma circuit”, passing through Greece and eventually ending up in India, Kashmir and Tibet.

Beiles decided to stay in Greece, moving between Athens and the island of Hydra, where he befriended Canadian troubadour Leonard Cohen. “What you had in Greece was a wave of expatriates, writers, artists and aristocrats like Princess Zina Rachesvsky. All of them outsiders and drifters,” remembers Bellaart, who hitchhiked from Rotterdam to Athens after he fell in love with Greek music that a truck driver played when he gave him a lift in Finland.

He bumped into Beiles at a party in Athens. They immediately got along. “I visited his flat and still remember how I walked in and saw poems. Poems everywhere. One of them was called Notes from the Promised Land, which ended up in Ashes of Experience, for which he won the Ingrid Jonker Award in 1970.”

Beiles had a history of mental instability. Diagnosed with manic depression as a teenager, he was subjected to electroshock treatment, and spent many months in psychiatric wards in Athens, London, Paris and Johannesburg.

His illness made him unpredictable and occasionally volatile.

Publishers were reluctant to deal with the “mad South African”, who once, in a fit of anger, threw a suitcase full of poems at an important London literary star.

Bellaart, however, wasn’t afraid. In 1970 he started his own publishing company, Cold Turkey Press, specialising in maladjusted writers such as Charles Bukowski, Antonin Artaud and Ezra Pound. Beiles fitted the bill perfectly. Here was a poet who assaulted deadening reality through a descent into delirium and fantasy.

“I saw him as the Holy Fool in the Russian tradition, not loony, but very wise,” says Bellaart, who published limited editions of Beiles’s Sacred Fix and Deliria, both now highly collectable.

AFTER Beiles returned to SA in the late ’70s, he married fellow poet Marta Proctor. They moved into a house in Yeoville, Johannesburg, and Beiles became a genuine Yeoville character, whose star rapidly waned during that highly politicised pre-1994 era.

Few were interested in the surrealist poetry and plays of that sickly man who used to scurry down Rockey Street, bumming coffee off friends and acquaintances. Most people found him initially entertaining, but soon became fed up with his antics and fantastic stories.

“Eventually he became like an untouchable,” says Bellaart.

“So he started making photocopies of his poems, stapled them and published them in editions of 15 or something, and sold some to Unisa.”

Bellaart, who never saw Beiles after the mid-’70s, still refuses to see his friend in terms of mad and normal. “He was very lucid in his descriptions of insanity. Is someone like that mad or normal? Those extremes are not applicable to Sinclair.

“It’s very hard to grasp him. Like all those fantastic stories he used to tell. They all happened within his own reality.

“That was the source of his poetry. And most did have a source of truth in them.”

Largely due to his worsening bipolar condition, Beiles fell out with almost everyone. Bellaart was an exception. They had a brief quarrel about a prose poem called Aardvark, in which Beiles tackled the decadence of the Lost City. Beiles thought it was his ultimate tour de force and wanted Bellaart to publish it.

BELLAART, however, could not make head or tale of it. “He sent me at least five versions. Just when I read my way through the previous one, he sent me a new one. I tried to deconstruct it, all the different characters. But I just couldn’t.”

Towards the end of his life, in 1997, Beiles did finally receive some recognition when the French Cultural Institute organised a Beat Hotel exhibition in Carfax, which featured a reconstruction of the Beat Hotel facade and two rooms, complete with a replica of Gysin’s hypnotic Dream Machine. Beiles read poems and had his 15 minutes of fame.

THREE years later he died, dismissed as a footnote to the beat history. An unjust epitaph, says Bellaart, showing me some of the exquisite mid-period poems. “He was hugely cultured. He had an enormous curiosity and an incredible ability to absorb things.

“I see Sinclair as someone who was outside everything. He had no affiliation with any movement. He was the most original of that whole late-’50s Paris scene. But because of his unevenness and his chaotic personal life, he was also the easiest to marginalise, to neglect. And to treat with condescension.”

The archives of Burroughs, Ginsberg, Corso, Kerouac, Bukowski, all contemporaries of Beiles, have been bought for huge sums by American universities and collectors, who are proud of their writers and poets.

The Beiles files are stored somewhere in rural France, waiting to change ownership. “They belong in kind, caring South African hands,” says Bellaart.

(Published in The Weekender, 16 August, 2008)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Offerings of Fire by Marta Proctor

Offerings of Fire by Sinclair Beiles's wife Marta Proctor, published in 1985 by Two Cities Johannesburg and Two Cities Paris. Sinclair wrote the introduction to this chapbook of 24 poems.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Whatever happens is meat for my poetry...

"I can't tell whether I'm cynical or optimistic - whether there is something out there organising a life of pleasure or pain for us. It's beyond my scope. Things happen to me. I record what happens. I don't care why. Whatever happens is meat for my poetry. My poetry and my personality are synonymous. I enjoy reading cosmological works but haven't been able to discern any pattern to my existence or any rhythmical relation between myself and others. I don't hunger after being part of a total harmony or tragedy or feel 'alienated' in any way." - Sinclair Beiles, letter to Gerard Bellart, editor of Cold Turkey Press, May 1969.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sinclair Beiles in his garden

Sinclair Beiles, Yeoville, 1994. Photo: Lydia Herbst

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Idiot's Voice

The Idiot's Voice, a poem card published by Cold Turkey Press, in a first edition limited to 36 copies.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sinclair Beiles relaxing in the garden

Sinclair Beiles relaxing in the garden of his house in Yeoville, Johannesbirg, 1994.

Photo: dawie malan

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sinclair Beiles with Gil Scott-Heron

Sinclair Beiles with US poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, Yeoville, Johannesburg, 1994.

Photo: Unisa library archives, manuscript collection number 143.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sinclair Beiles: The Action Poet

A poem card published by Cold Turkey Press, France. The first side is a photograph of Beiles believed to have been taken in Johannesburg in the early 1980s. The reverse is Beiles's poem 'The Action Poet' from the collection the Idiot's Voice, soon to be published by Cold Turkey Press, in both French and English.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nothing is True: Everything is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin by John Geiger

Nothing is True Everything is Permitted is a biography of Brion Gysin (1916-1986) - artist, novelist, poet and one of the collaborators with Sinclair Beiles on Minutes To Go.
As is usual with books dealing with the Beat Hotel and Minutes To Go, Beiles doesn't exactly take centre stage, but in this book he does get slightly more mentions. In addition to quoting Beiles, Geiger mentions that he was the author of several collections of poetry (usually only Houses of Joy - which was published in 1959 - and Minutes To Go are mentioned).
What is particularly noticeable is that his mental illness is not referred to, and overall there is a sense that Geiger treats Beiles with more respect than most Beat biographers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dispossessed by Sinclair Beiles

A poem poster courtesy of Cold Turkey Press, France

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers was a small anthology of poetry privately published circa 1991. It was co-edited by Sinclair Beiles and Marta Proctor Beiles, with thanks to Ian Tromp for his assistance. It contains work by Robert Berold, Walter Saunders, Marta Proctor Beiles, Sinclair Beiles and Martin Jacklin. The cover was designed by Marta Proctor Beiles.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Review of Who was Sinclair Beiles? by Christopher Nosnibor

Sinclair Beiles was a friend of the Beats, lived at the Beat Hotel when it was all happening, had a hand in editing William Burroughs’ seminal novel Naked Lunch, was a prolific poet and led an eventful life. Yet strangely, he remains largely unknown. Who Was Sinclair Beiles? attempts to address this matter. This volume may be slim, but plugs a very big gap in the coverage given to the criminally underrated poet Sinclair Beiles...Read more here

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Covers of Deliria and Sacred Fix, published by Cold Turkey Press

Photo: courtesy of Cold Turkey Press archive.

Deliria was first published by Cold Turkey Press, Rotterdam in 1971, then reprinted by Small Spaces Press, Johannesburg in 1995. Sacred Fix was published by Cold Turkey Press in 1975.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sinclair Beiles in New Writers 3, published by John Calder, 1965

Sinclair Beiles was one of the writers featured this issue of the New Writers series published by John Calder in the 1960s. Beiles's contribution is small - just four poems covering 15 pages in an overall volume of 130 pages - but the fact that he was recognised and included by such a prestigious avant-garde publisher of that time is evidence of the value of his work.

The other contributors were David Mercer, Alexander Trocchi and Nick Rawson.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sinclair Beiles on surrealist poetry

'Most surrealist poetry became mannered and in its quest for unusual relationships between words, and ideas, was set down at the expense of feelings and motives. The poems became beautiful seashells devoid of life.'

Sinclair Beiles, from the introduction to Marta Proctor's Offering of fire.