June 14th (TWO events!) at the Henry Miller Library: Jerry Cimino of the Beat Museum!

On Sundays from July through September 2015, the Henry Miller Memorial Library will host some of the country’s most accomplished authors, artists, journalists, and thinkers in its new “Under the Persimmon Tree” series!

June 14th features Jerry Cimino, founder and director of San Francisco’s inimitable Beat Museum!

Jerry will be presenting both an afternoon and evening session at The Henry Miller Memorial Library on June 14th:

4pm Session: “The Beat Generation in America”
Though they met in New York City, the Beat Generation gained international fame here on the west coast in 1957. How the Beat Generation influenced American culture and how that influence spread around the world.
Discussion and reading performance with Q&A.
This event is by donation. For more information and to reserve your spot, click here.
7:30 Session: “This is The Beat Generation”
In a multimedia performance, Jerry Cimino, The Director of The Beat Museum in San Francisco, will tell the story of The Beat Generation, how they met, lived, loved and wrote along with who they influenced and how they changed the world. Photos, stories, readings and movie clips.


This event is also by donation. For more information and to reserve your spot, click here.
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is located in the heart of Big Sur, 25 miles south of Carmel and ¼ miles south of Nepenthe restaurant on Highway 1.     Questions?  Call us! 831-667-2574.
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Henry Gets Surreal: On the Artistic Achievement That is “Into the NIght Life”

Israeli artist nightlife1Betzalel Schatz’s wife was the sister of Henry Miller’s fourth wife, Eve. Years before Schatz had lived in Big Sur and had collaborated with Miller on “Into the Night Life,” the hand-printed art book for which Henry wrote directly on the silk screens and Schatz created the artwork.

The project was — and remains! — a historic and innovative artistic achievement.

A master serigrapher, Schatz printed enough pages for 800 copies of the book, but only 200 were initially bound. As the story goes, upon finishing the book, they exuberantly drove to Hollywood and sold the first copy to Will Rogers!

The book represened a departure in book-making. Two hundred and forty stencils were made in order to reproduce the conents of the eighty pages which comprise the book. For some of the double pages, which are paintings in themselves, as many as twenty colors were used. The text alone covers 51 pages and, as noted, are in Miller’s own handwriting.

Betzalel Schatz

Betzalel Schatz

The text was taken from Henry’s “Black Spring,” which was first published in Paris in 1936 and subsquently reprinted in “The Cosmological Eye.” The text was chosen because of its imagistic style and because it lent itself to imaginative treatment by the artist. The text is full of archaic symbols and images, as well as childhood souveniers, all poetically rendered.

In true surrealist form, rather than having a title for each painting, the painting is simply paired with Miller’s text, on the opposing page, from “Black Spring.”

Here is the corresponding text to one painting:

“Where am I to lay my head if there is nothing but bears and mackintoshes and peanut whistles and broken slats? Am I to walk forever along this endless pasteboard street, this pasteboard that I can punch a hole in, which I can blow down with my breath, which I can set fire to with a match? The world has become a mystic maze erected by a gang of carpenters during the night. Everything is a lie, fake. Pasteboard”


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great write-up in the Monterey County Weekly for the Patchy Sanders show, this Thursday, May 7th at 7:30 pm at the Henry Miller Library!

“Patchy Sanders does have a few straight-forward bluegrass numbers that could keep a crowd of the strictest purists happy. The full-throttle banjo-propelled “Darkest Skarlet Wild Rose” is a smoking whirlwind of southern hospitality and sweet harmonies, straight out of the Doc Watson playbook.”

Read the whole thing!!  Reserve your spot here!


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May 17th at the Henry Miller Library – Robinson Jeffers in Big Sur: A Celebration of an American Poet!


A celebration of a major American poet and the rugged Big Sur coast that inspired him.

This celebration of the power and beauty of Big Sur and the poet who wrote most vividly about it is for anyone who has never heard of Robinson Jeffers.

It’s for anyone who has heard of Jeffers, but has never read or heard a Jeffers poem. It’s for those who have read some Jeffers but didn’t get what he was trying to say.

And of course, it’s for those who LOVE Jeffers’ poetry because his keen observations of the natural world and his passion for preserving it touches something deep within. (Photo courtesy of the Tor House Foundation.)

Come hear poems describing Jeffers’ early encounters with rugged Big Sur read by local treasure and teller of tales Taelen Thomas, well-known for his depictions of Mark Twain, Jack London, John Steinbeck, Dylan Thomas and many others.

Enjoy music by singer/guitarist Alisa Fineman and flautist Elise Rotchford. If you’re a Big Sur history buff, pore over historical photographs predating Highway One, mounted side-by-side with Jeffers poems describing those places.

Members of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance are eager to discuss the enormous influence the prophetic Jeffers had on the early environmental movement.

And to all local artists and photographers: You are invited to display and, if you wish, sell Big Sur-inspired paintings, prints, and photographs.

If you or your organization is interested in being represented in any way in this afternoon of poetry, drama, visual arts, music and fellowship, please contact Jean Widaman at 238-5102 (jean.widaman@gmail.com) or Magnus Toren at 667-2574 (magnus@henrymiller.org).

The Henry Miller Memorial Library is located at  48603 Highway One, Big Sur, California; 25 miles south out of Carmel, 1/4 mile south of Nepenthe Restaurant.

Questions?  Call us at 831.667.2574.

And now, let’s let Jeffers speak for himself:


Robinson Jeffers

A little too abstract, a little too wise,
It is time for us to kiss the earth again,
It is time to let the leaves rain from the skies,
Let the rich life run to the roots again.
I will go to the lovely Sur Rivers
And dip my arms in them up to the shoulders.
I will find my accounting where the alder leaf quivers
In the ocean wind over the river boulders.
I will touch things and things and no more thoughts,
That breed like mouthless May-flies darkening the sky,
The insect clouds that blind our passionate hawks
So that they cannot strike, hardly can fly.
Things are the hawk’s food and noble is the mountain, Oh noble
Pico Blanco, steep sea-wave of marble.

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Check our our “Instagram,” yeah?

The Henry Miller Memorial Library: slowing and awkwardly crawling towards the 21st century!

Fans of the HMML know we have a blog, a Facebook, and even a Twitter.  Well guess what? Now we have an Instagram!


Go there, like us or whatever, GET YOUR THEO FIX, and please share your photos with us?

Who knows – now that we’re spending more time than ever on these digital networks perhaps, at long last, a sense of fulfillment and profound happiness will overwhelm us – just like all those commercials have promised!

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Announcing the winner of the 2014 HML Fundraising Private Dinner Raffle Prize!

You may recall — last year we noted that by donating to the Henry Miller Library, you’d be eligible for a raffle for a free dinner on Library grounds…

Well, we picked a name. Actually, someone else picked the name….It’s probably just better to click the link to find out the lucky winner!!



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April 18 & 19 at the Henry Miller Library: Exclusive screenings of “It’s a Wild Life” a feature film by Kennan and Karen Ward!

Join us Saturday, April 18 and Sunday April 19 2015 for an exclusive screening of
“It’s a Wild Life”
a feature film by Kennan and Karen Ward!

Press inquiries, contact Mike Scutari at mike@henrymiller.org.

Click here for tickets for April 18th; click here for April 19th.

Yes – this is the film you may have heard of already – one we have been longing to show at the Library with our big screen, and great sound!

Kennan and Karen Ward stayed in Big Sur for many years, mainly at Big Creek, to do this portait and the result is stunning.

Please come and sit back under the redwoods for what will be a truly wild story. (In part told by Feynner Arias!)

In the  film we’ll see the remote wilderness where a family of endangered condors raise a chick high in a redwood tree, witness a one-eyed bobcat as she learns new hunting techniques in a struggle to survive…

Experience the beauty of this wild coast with a man who has made this rugged environment his home for thirty years.

Discover the unique and hidden secrets of this wild land we call Big Sur!

“You haven’t seen Big Sur until you have seen this movie.”
US Congressman, Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast (CA-20)

$10-20 suggested donation. Very limited seating!
Please carpool.

You have to make reservation. Without a reservation you will not be granted access.

No need to print out tickets; it will be will call, so just bring your ID.

Bring your own snacks and drinks if you like. We have coffee, tea and our famous Pop Corn.

To learn more about this fantastic film, please visit the film’s Facebook page and ItsaWildlifeFilm.com


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Check out the HMML’s web site circa 1997, 2000, and 2003!

Fun fact: The Henry Miller Library was the first business in Big Sur to have a Web site. It went live in the mid-90s and thanks to the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” we can see how it looked back in the good old days of budget surpluses and grunge.

Here are three snapshots of henrymiller.org taken on July 8, 1997 (!) at 1:37 pm, June 13, 2000 at 3:30 am, and February 2, 2003 at 12:53 am!

















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