The Collected Letters (the first of what will probably be two editions) looks really fascinating.
1. The new Kerouac books (see below) are out. The Portable Jack Kerouac Reader is probably best for the newcomer, as it consists mainly of excerpts from novels and stories, with a few letters and other prose pieces. I still think the best way to discover Kerouac is just to read 'On The Road,' but maybe some people will find value in this collection.
1. The film version of Jim Carroll's 'Basketball Diaries' is out, and I would definitely say this classifies as Beat News. Jim Carroll is from a later era than the Beats, but Kerouac praised his writing when Carroll first got published (as a teenager), and his sensibility is Beat without a doubt. However, I recently heard that the film wasn't that great. They made it take place in the 90's instead of the 60's, for one thing.
Janet Michelle Kerouac is universally recognized as Jack Kerouac's daughter, but when she was born to his second wife, Joan Haverty, on February 16, 1952 in Albany, New York, he refused to accept this fact. His short marriage to Joan was already over by this time, and Jan would see her father very few times. The sad story of their last meeting was told by Jan in her own first book, "Baby Driver," which takes its title from a Paul Simon song.