Lenore Kandel was explosive -- she was the only woman to give a speech at the 1967 Human Be-In, became immortalized by Jack Kerouac in Big Sur, and just like her buddy Allen Ginsberg, had a pamphlet of her work seized by police because of its extreme erotic content. Did we mention she was also an excellent belly dancer? Kandel was an important female voice in the predominantly male Beat movement and an activist during the counterculture San Francisco of the 1960s. Her most controversial work, The Love Book, explores female sexuality and gave voice to a generation of repressed women.
Although she has since passed, a tribute to Kandel's life is celebrated with a new release, Collected Poems of Lenore Kandel on Thursday (May 10), at the Beat Museum.
The book features previously unpublished poetry as well as some of Kandel's more iconic works, such as "To Fuck with Love," a descriptive and provocative take on a woman's sexual experience and desire. The tribute also includes a reading from Peter Coyote -- founder of the Diggers, an anarchist theater group notable for providing food, housing, transportation, and medical supplies to the influx of runaways living in Haight Ashbury in the 1960s and '70s.
Other readers include Ruth Weiss, Brenda Knight, Lindy Hough, and Dan Langton.
The Lenore Kandel Tribute starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday (May 10) at The Beat Museum, 540 Broadway (at Columbus), S.F. Admission is free.