The Beat on Ruby's Street

See more by Jenna Zark

Available at Select Retailers

About the author

Jenna Zark

I am a columnist, lyricist and an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced in New York and around the country. More information on my play credits are on my Playwriting page.

I first learned about the Beats when my older sister brought me to a play in the Village and shared stories about the poets who walked its streets in the 1950s. Though long gone, their poems and books were in all the book stores and I started to read them. When I was in college, I visited the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco and heard more stories about Beats and the readings they had there.

Years later, my sister and her family moved to Perry Street and I visited them every Friday after work. I began to imagine a young girl, trying to find the poets who were legends in her time. Would she want to be a poet herself? What would life be like for her?

Turned out it was kind of rough—rougher than I thought it would be, and full of surprises. But the story kept growing until it became the Beat Street Series. Now I want to share it with you.