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Communications and Marketing

Burroughs bash

The famed Chicago Humanities Festival partnered with Lake Forest College to mark the 100th birthday of Beat icon William S. Burroughs, America’s “most audacious writer.”

Interzone: A William S. Burroughs Birthday Bash was held at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S. Morgan St., in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.

In its first collaboration with the 25-year-old Chicago Humanities Festival, the College brought together a motley crew of poets, writers, and musicians to pay homage to the 1950s Beat Generation icon and author of Naked Lunch.

Performers included Anne Waldman, Eileen Myles, Tony Trigilio and Professor of English and Burroughs scholar Davis Schneiderman, Professor of Music Don Meyer, and Assistant Professor of English Josh Corey.

Students and members of the public performed “The World’s Largest Cut-Up” to honor Burroughs’ style of severing printed words and remixing the results into new compositions.

Burroughs’ cut-up writing technique inspired the jump-cuts of crowdsourced YouTube videos, magnetic poetry, and Twitter feeds. He also coined the phrases “heavy metal” and “Steely Dan” and served as the godfather of punk in collaboration with Patti Smith, Kurt Cobain, and Ministry, among many others.