What is Beat Salad? This seemingly straightforward question has seen the best minds of our generations destroyed by madness— raddled, discombobulated, naked and bedazzled— run hooting into the Woodhaven forest, looking for their mad quail brothers. Beat Salad, a confluence of performance poetry, prose, music, excellent company, Clay McCann, and The Beats. It’s Woodhaven’s most scrumptious event of the summer, and it simply can’t be beat, beautified, bounced, or hard-boiled, it’s the one and only Beat Salad!
This year’s event featured an astonishing marquee of talented performers, including: Joan Crate, W. Mark Giles, Matt Rader, Laisha Rosnau, Paul E. Nelson, Michael V. Smith, and more! These bonafide Beatrices performed original works and covers of their favourite Beat writing. The Beats and the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre go together like bongos and barrettes, promoting an ethos of sharing, embracing eco-arts, polyvocality, community and adventure.
The stage was set for a night to remember. Half a dozen talented writers, musicians, and over a hundred attendees along with wine from our sponsor St. Hubertus all combined to make this Beat Salad a most excellent occasion. As our Host Clay McCann said, “I think this may be my favourite night.”
After a last minute cancellation from our musician, Dustin McGrifford heroically saved the day by laying down some melody and scotch-smooth vocals.
The big yellow school bus shuttled Beat Salad attendees from Downtown to Woodhaven and back.
Poetry aficionados arriving in droves.
Our gracious and well groomed host, Clay McCann.
“The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way–a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word ‘beat’ spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America–beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction” — Jack Kerouac.
Some of our illustrious poets. We took breaks to sip wine from St. Hubertus.
Eventually it grew dark, and as you can see the wonderful Michael V. Smith began to phosphoresce.
Then, it was time for music by the Syren + The Waves, who will be releasing their new EP the fall of 2015.
“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.”
― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems