Jack Kerouac

In the Sunshine City

St. Petersburg, Florida

Welcome to the website for the former Florida 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization, The Friends of Jack Kerouac, founded in 2013 and administratively dissolved in 2023.

Events in 2018: Kerouac Night at the Flamingo Sports Bar hosted in March and October. Guest Readers at Wordier Than Thou’s Roast of Jack Kerouac hosted at The Studio@620. Poetry Contest organized by Keep St. Pete Lit with performances during October’s Kerouac Night. Hosting of a Graphic Design Contest won by Florida artist Daniel Lamparelli

Events in 2019: Vendor Table at Localtopia Festival hosted by Keep St. Pete Local. Guest Speaker at Wordier Than Thou’s Roast of Ernest Hemingway. Kerouac Night in March at the Flamingo Sports Bar.  Performance Reading of Allen Ginsburg’s HOWL by Bob Devin Jones, Becca McCoy, Peter Meinke, and JoEllen Schilke on April 16th as part of Keep St. Pete Lit’s SunLit Festival hosted at The Old Key West Bar.

Spirit of Kerouac Festival in October featuring six events such as Kerouac Night at the Flamingo Sports Bar, a presentation during Nerd Night at the Iberian Rooster, Kerouac themed Art Exhibit and Auction at The Studio@620, Poetry Reading and Vendor Market at Black Crow Coffee Grand Central, a Screening of On The Road at Green Bench Brewery.

Events in 2020: Guest Speaker with Wordier Than Thou at Flying Boat Brewery. Guest Speaker in February at Wordier Than Thou’s Tampa Bay Publishing Conference hosted at Creative Pinellas. Vendor Table at Localtopia Festival hosted by KSPL. March Events canceled due to COVID-19.

Virtual Events in October of 2020: Postcard tutorial for Ghost of Kerouac fan-mail, a Zoom discussion of Satori in Paris (Kerouac’s novel about his quest to France in search of his family roots) as part of Wordier Than Thou’s Wordplay Festival. Two readings of adventurous children’s books, Kinderguide’s version of On The Road, and Bob Devin Jones narrating the Maurice Sendak classic, Where the Wild Things Are.  

A tribute to the unique Mexican holiday Day of the Dead with an online poetry showcase (hosted at the Studio@620) called “Dia de los Vagabundos” which featured an ofrenda complete with a neon sugar skull made by Noble Glass and Neon, local artist interviews with Robyn Crosa and Daniel Barojas along featured poets reciting works from Beat Generation writers along with their own original poems.

Events in 2021: Vendor Table at Localtopia Festival hosted by Keep St. Pete Local in February. Co-hosted an Intuitive Painting Lab in March with John Gascot founder of Diversity Arts Inc at Studio5663 in Pinellas Park. We kicked off the Spirit of Kerouac Festival beginning with poetry open mic on Kerouac’s birthday, March 12th, at Hops and Props. At Green Light Cinema we hosted screenings of the 1952 cult classic “Pull My Daisy,” a Robert Frank film with music by David Amram and narration by Kerouac (followed by Q & A with the audience and panelists from our Board Members.) The weekend of events culminated in the maiden bicycle voyage of the “Tour de Kerouac” with help from the St. Pete Bike Co-op.

At the end of March we helped sponsor Wordier Than Thou’s event at The Studio@620, a reading of Kerouac’s play “Beat Generation” by an all-female cast in honor of Women’s History Month.

In October we hosted Kerouac In Azul: A Celebration of Mexico City Blues at The Studio@620 with live music, selected readings from Kerouac’s 242 Cantos, and original poetry. Videos of the performance can be found on our Youtube Channel; Friends of Jack Kerouac.

Events in 2022: Kicked off the year with a Vendor Table at Localtopia. We began celebrating Kerouac’s 100th birthday with a slate of events throughout March. March 4th was the opening reception of an art and poetry showcase Age of Kerouac: A Beat Generation Celebration at The Studio@620 with the works of 39 artists on display for a month. Live music from jazz quartet Johnny White and the Xperience accompanied local poets as they performed.

Partnered with Green Light Cinema again, bringing the film adaptation of On The Road to the screen for two days, March 12th and 13th. Hosted Open Mic Poetry on March 14th at the Studio Public House and the 17th at The Flamingo Sports Bar. Celebrations concluded with a SunLit Festival event, a special guided bike tour on April 4th called the Tour de Kerouac. Visit the link or tab in our website’s drop down menu, Kerouac Bike Tour for more info on how to access the app and book a private tour.

Events in 2023: Screenings of HOWL the 2010 film about Allan Ginsberg’s epic poem on January 15th at Green Light Cinema with post-film Q & A sessions. January 29th we host our first guided Tour de Kerouac bike ride of the year with plans for monthly tours going through April.

In March we hosted Trivia Night at the Studio Public House, a film screening of the documentary “Go Moan for Man: The Literary Odyssey of Jack Kerouac”  by Doug Sharples with Q&A special guests (daughter and film distributor) Riva Sharples, Erik Deckers of the Orlando Kerouac Project and Ken Burchenal of the St. Pete Kerouac House.

In April FOJK hosted Poetic Portals an art and poetry exhibition at Wayworld, an event space painted by artist Jason Harvin located at The Factory St. Pete. Featuring works by 52 Tampa-Bay area poets and artists paired together to visually interpret one or more pieces of poetry into art. This show was curated by James Hartzell who served FOJK as a volunteer and board member from 2016-2023.

Visit our About Us section in the Menu tab for our new mission statement, board members and current goals.

FOJK has been dissolved as of September 2023. Thank you all for a decade of support!

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