ruth weiss, the beat goddess

In a life that has spanned 91 creative years, ruth weiss is one of the last living significant poets of the Beat Generation. Born to a Jewish family during the rise of Nazism, as a 10-year-old refugee, she escaped to the United States. ruth became a Jazz troubadour exemplifying the zeitgeist of Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco. In the 1940s, she opened up and organized the first poetry readings in cafes and bars in North Beach, giving a platform to many poets. 

She is a contemporary of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, and she was the originator of reading poetry to jazz. Legend Herb Caen dubbed ruth weiss as “The Goddess of the Beat Generation” because of her contribution to the culture of North Beach and the Bay Area poetry scene. Known around the world, ruth weiss continues to this day to perform her poetry. Inspired by her work, this documentary uses poetic imagery through dance, art, animation, and music to embody her oeuvre. (Get ruth weiss’s book “Can’t Stop The Beat” here)


  • Country:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Runtime:
    68 minutes


  • Director:
    Melody C. Miller

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