John Sierpinski Keeps the Beat Alive

by Charlie Rossiter

The Beat generation writers of the 1950s and 60s have had an enduring impact on poetry. As John Sierpinski’s Poetry Spoken Here interview makes clear, the outsider, clear-spoken, risk-taking visions of Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs (the core Beat writers) continue to influence him. Visit any major slam venue, talk to the poets and you’ll discover a significant percentage who will say they are influenced by the Beats (or that those who influenced them were influenced by the Beats). 

John has bolstered his independent writing by studying poetry at the University of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Iowa Writers Workshop, and the Vest Conservatory for Writers. His poetry has been published in over fifty literary magazines.

Like the original Beats, Sierpiniski chronicles his life and times, providing a picture of pre-high tech San Francisco and a first person account of what it was like to travel cross-country through small town America in a VW Microbus sporting hippy-length hair.

John has just completed a collection of poems and is actively seeking a publisher. As with the Beats, he enjoys writing poems based on his real life experiences. The poems span many years of writing as well as many years of personal experiences. To listen to John's appearance on Poetry Spoken Here, click here.