William S. Burroughs is an American author, essayist, painter, and spoken-word performer, and would turn 100-years-old this upcoming February. He is considered to be “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century,” writing eighteen novels and six short story collections. His life’s journey took him through an education at Harvard, many reckless experiences in Mexico and other countries, and countless artistic endeavors amongst the other great Beats, Kerouac and Ginsberg, in New York City.
In celebration of his 100th birthday this February, Bloomington has developed a festival in his honor, knowing his influence throughout America, and our own everyday lives. We are calling this event the Burroughs Century, but we are not looking backward; rather, we believe that the Burroughs Century is ongoing, that we are in the midst of it, and we intend to stage an event that indicates the full range of that continuing influence, including a film series, art and literature exhibits, speakers and panels, musical performances, and more.
Listen to The Beatdom Podcast for more information on the festival and discussion of the Beat Generation.