Intellectual Curiosities and Provocations

About Litkicks

By Levi Asher on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 12:08 am

My name is Levi Asher. This is me, and that's my guitar and my son and my book collection.

I created Literary Kicks in July 1994, and have been running it continuously (with occasional short sanity breaks) ever since. Litkicks is about literature ... and also about philosophy, art, history, religion, society, culture, music, politics, technology, nature, psychology, life. The articles are written by either me or one of several great contributors. If you have an idea for an article, please email me at litkicks@gmail.com. We always love to get your feedback via comments to every piece we publish.

In 2010, we began publishing original books. Our most popular title is Why Ayn Rand Is Wrong (and Why It Matters), which emerged from our Philosophy Weekend blog post series. We've also published Beats In Time: A Literary Generation's Legacy, a collection of our Beat Generation pieces, The Cards I'm Playing: Poker and Postmodern Literature, a study of Texas Hold'em as a literary activity, and Chiaroscuro: Assorted Literary Essays, a collection of the very best essays that have appeared on this site.

ADVERTISING: We love to run ads for great books or high quality products that would appeal to our readership. We work with BlogAds.com for all ad sales.

REVIEW POLICY: Due to the overwhelming number of worthy novels and fiction collections published every year, we do not try to review new novels by emerging authors. Instead, we cover fiction by keeping an ear to the ground and following recommendations to help us find the next new writers to love. We are more likely to accept review copies for unusual works or non-fiction books covering specific subjects we are interested in. If you would like to discuss sending a review copy, please email litkicks@gmail.com or send to:

Literary Kicks
PO Box 751246
Forest Hills, NY 11375 USA

MORE ABOUT ME AND THE SITE: Since Litkicks has been around since the early dawn of web culture, we've been through a lot of changes, and I've seen a whole lot of stuff go down. If you'd like to know more about the long history of this website and the secrets of its quirky creator, please read my memoir of Silicon Alley, 1993 to 2003. This attempted autobiography is still untitled, unedited and incomplete, but the story it tells may burn your ears.

Thanks for reading Literary Kicks! Please like our Facebook page to keep in touch, or follow @asheresque on Twitter for a more frenetic feed.

14 Responses to "About Litkicks"

by Kim on

Found your review of the (frustratingly-delayed) On the Road movie & a piece you wrote on Renaldo & Clara from 2011. I really loved reading both & LOVE your site. Fantastic writing about things I love. I'm gonna keep you bookmarked & link to you from my blog. :-) Keep up the great work!

by Hazel Cole on

Hey Levi,
Just wanted to drop a note to congratulate you and your team,on the evolution of litkicks,
Love an old friend,
Hazel - aka onthebus2002

by Laurel Holmes on

I really liked reading the hippie highlights from your article written in 2001. My only wish was that you'd kept going up to present time (which still would have only been 2001). But I am actually in search of that through-line of alternative, hippie-inspired writing. Who is currently part of that through line? I am thinking you could pint me to several of your posts, and I could connect some dots. Thank you so much for your insights and philosophical musings. Super touching.
Bellingham

by poetpunk on

Hey Levi, I know you probably won't read this, but if you do, I'd like to know what's happened to the Action Poetry Archives? I really would like to know where those went, because I'd like to be able to access many of those poems that I wrote back in they day for my portfolio.

Sorry if that sounds like complaining. It really isn't. I'm very happy at the success of Litkicks. Really, it's nice to see somewhere I once called home flourishing.

by Levi Asher on

Hi poetpunk -- it's fine, you're allowed to complain if you want to. The good news is, I really am working on the Action Poetry archive system. This is a labor of love for me. But, with my day job demanding a lot of my technical attention, it's hard to put aside enough time to get this done. But I do have the archives in perfect condition -- I just need to put together a new display mechanism.

by Doug Brunelle on

Hello Levi,

I was looking at the contacts on my smartphone, and noticed that I still have your contact email, brooklyn@litkicks.com, after all these years. (which, apparently, you no longer use, as it bounced back an error when I sent this via email) It was probably synchronized from one of my email addresses. I also have email addresses on my phone of certain people who have passed on, and people I don't even know anymore. But when I see the name Levi Asher, it takes me back to my early days on the Web, when it was first commercialized. The days when I constructed my first Web page by hand, writing the html code in Notepad. Your LitKicks site was one of the first interesting sites that I encountered, about the same time that the first graphical Web browsers became available, and we were brought, kicking and screaming, from the text-only Internet into the graphical Wild West of cyberspace. Remember Netscape Navigator?

We had a short email conversation in '94 or thereabouts, and one thing you said has stuck in my mind all these years. I had asked you a question, and it must have been a ridiculous one, or possibly out of context, because you replied (and I'm paraphrasing), "I dunno- who am I, fucking William Safire or something?!" Which was probably the right answer... but at the time, I didn't know who William Safire was, so I asked you in my subsequent email.

Anyway, on your site in 1994, you had an article on Jack Kerouac, which I found fascinating. I was not familiar with his works, so soon after I read your article, I picked up a copy of "On The Road" and read it. Found that fascinating, too. I haven't done much recreational reading lately, but one of these days, I hope I will have the leisure time needed to go through your site and look at the archive articles.

It's good to see that your Literary Kicks Web page is still flourishing, and that you're still writing articles. Kudos on the success of your long and interesting Web publishing history.

Regards,
Doug Brunelle

by Levi Asher on

Hello Doug! I'm not sure if I remember that exact conversation, but it sounds right ... thanks a lot for coming back to say hi after all these years. I actually do remember writing that exact line on a Litkicks article -- it may have been a page on my site, rather than a personal email, in which I was playing amateur etymologist. Just as I now play amateur philosopher and amateur book critic.

by Estela on

I just discovered your website, via the Beat Museum blog. So much to read here, I hardly know where to begin. This is great! Love it!

Hi Levi,

I just wanted to congratulate you on the growth and development of your website. I remember when it was one page and some links. Needless to say it will take me some time to delve into all the topics your site covers now. I look forward to some communication between us.

Posting anything online has become serious business. Had we known in the early '90's and before that every word we ever set down on paper or online would be recorded and available for all to see forevermore, whether in context or void of set and setting, I would have conducted myself, well, with more care. Perhaps there are others who also would have conducted themselves differently. Not censorship by regulation or legislation or even committee, but perhaps some reasonable self-censorship would have been appropriate. I would certainly like to know what I wrote that was so objectionable as elicit your criticism. The circumstances of my life, and development as a woman, writer, mother, and the daughter of a Beat Poet, subjected to all that moniker represents and entailed are not available in complete, published form. Until they are perhaps your readers would like snippets. Small pieces of writing which may give us room for conversation around what is relevant and what is not. I look forward to your impressions of my short, though courageous post on "litkicks" and to having a more in depth conversation about those formative years. What do you say? Shall we start out own Beat Generation? We will be coming from a different perspective, one redolent of computer paper with no need to tape hundreds of sheets together before sitting down to some speed and coffee and knocking out On the Road in one sitting. Perhaps our view will have more to offer the young poets of today than we imagine. Certainly we are made of different stuff, perhaps more heroic, perhaps not. Let's be humble and begin by by reviewing our own work, viewing it through older more jaded but perhaps wiser eyes.

by Kevin on

Wow, I wrote on here years ago and am glad to see it's still here. Off I go on another great journey.

by Suzan on

i have a question about adding a banner of your site on my blog- I enjoy your site - and would like to share it.

by Levi Asher on

Suzan - please do!

by Eoin O'Brien on

Hi Levi, I really enjoyed your Q&A with Blues.gr and was hoping you could help me. I'm researching interesting and unusual Poker stories around the world and would absolutely love to find material based in that amazing period, i.e. the Beat Generation. On The Road remains one of my favourite books of all time, and one of the few I've read more than once. I subscribe to the opinion that there are too many good books to read things twice, but there are exceptions! If you think that there's material worth digging up I'd be really appreciative if you could point me in the right direction. Even if nothing comes of it, as an avid reader I'm delighted to have discovered Litkicks.com (and on twitter & FB) for myself today, and look forward to catching up on all the great articles I've missed already! Cheers - Eoin

by Levi Asher on

Nice to meet you, Eoin. I wish I could think of any true stories involving the Beat Generation and poker. It seems that they somehow missed out on the craze. There may be references to the game somewhere, but I can't think of a single one.

I have heard stories about Gregory Corso in his later years playing at an Atlantic City casino, but I think I heard he was at a blackjack table, not poker. A far inferior game in my opinion.

In the absence of something better, here's my own imagined story of "Literature's Final Table" which includes Neal Cassady in a Hold 'Em tournament ...

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