Mill Valley Historical Society event pairs former California Poet Laureate with founding member of the Beat movement for an in-depth conversation. 
San Francisco’s place in the historical canon of the Beat Generation is well documented. But did you know that a pair of small houses on Montford Avenue in Homestead Valley once served as a nexus for major writers of that era?

The Mill Valley Historical Society did, and the organization drew a fantastic turnout to a Feb. 1 event that delved into it at the Mill Valley Public Library. They invited prolific author and former California Poet Laureate Al Young to interview author Locke McCorkle, who in 1955 moved to Mill Valley with the poet Gary Snyder – the two had become friends while attending Alan Watts’ lectures on eastern spirituality at the California Institute of Asian Studies – and rented a property with two small houses on Montford Avenue for $25 a month.

The dwellings would draw the likes of Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, among many others. Young and McCorkle explored this bohemian period in Mill Valley history and the literature, art, friendships, and adventures that came out of it, and local filmmaker Gary Yost filmed it all. Here it is:

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