Friday, October 6, 2017

A headstone for a poet who moved to a different beat

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Inside flap of Tales



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.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Two watercolours by Sinclair Beiles




Courtesy: dawie malan

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sinclair Beiles, Beat Hotel, 1960


Photo: Harriet Crowder. Courtesy of Jim Pennington.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cutting it all up by Fred de Vries

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.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Heathcote Williams, radical poet, playwright, actor, and friend of Sinclair Beiles, dies

Heathcote Williams, the radical poet, playwright, actor and polymathic English genius, has died at the age of 75. He had been ill for some time and died on Saturday in Oxford.

He was the author of many polemical poems, written over four decades in a unique documentary style. They included works about the devastation being wrought on the natural environment – Sacred ElephantWhale Nation and Falling For a Dolphin – and Autogeddon, a grim and majestic attack on the car. Read more.

Heathcote Williams also contributed a chapter to the revised edition of Who was Sinclair Beiles?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Impossible Parish and Birds, by Sinclair Beiles




Published in Poems Under Suspicion and Poems on Bits of Paper: A Dual Anthology by Sinclair Beiles and Marta Proctor, Two Cities, Johannesburg, 1982.

Title page of Poems Under Suspicion and Poems on Bits of Paper: A Dual Anthology by Sinclair Beiles and Marta Proctor


Published by Two Cities, Johannesburg, 1982.