#ZMM50th Dates Confirmed So Far

A range of 2024 activities has been proposed to mark the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” (ZMM, 1974). See the original “Call to Celebrate #ZMM50th” below.

Events and dates confirmed so far include:

Feb 13th, 2024
50th Anniversary Edition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 
(HarperCollins, by Robert M. Pirsig 1974 with a new foreword written by Matthew B. Crawford author of “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work“.) (UPDATE: The HarperCollins link includes links to purchase the US edition from anywhere in the world. Note:  Use the links, it’s harder to find the specific edition in searches. So far, no hardback, or non-US #ZMM50th editions yet?)

April 9th, 2024
Paperback edition of “On Quality” published.
(HarperCollins, Robert Pirsig, Ed Wendy Pirsig, 2022)

April 11th, 12th and 15th – USA Today’s #ZMM50th Special.
Three articles by George Petras and Veronica Bravo, timed to coincide with the Smithsonian exhibition on the actual anniversary date (next diary entry). Second part here. Third part here. Comprehensive and thoroughly linked to many of our member resources, including Adam Rose’s #ZMM50th summer 2024 courses on Pirsig’s work at Chicago Uni.

April 15th, 2024 (Anniversary of the original ZMM publication.)
Zen and the Open Road” exhibit opens at the Smithsonian, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington DC. (Although there is no “launch” event – the Pirsig exhibits are being added to an existing exhibition – and Sevilla King organised an RPA Meet-Up for anyone who would like to attend, when it first opens, on the #ZMM50th anniversary date. Update – Photo-record of the opening day at the Smithsonian.)

April 28th, 2024 – RPA’s Inaugural Online (International) Chautauqua
Link and details confirmed here, with participation from Wendy Pirsig and Jim Landis.
(Full recording now available here.)

May 6th, 2024 – Philosophy Talk – ZMM at 50 – at San Diego Central Library.
By professor Steven Barbone of San Diego State University, CA

18th May, 2024 – First broadcast of BBC Radio Archive on 4 Documentary.
Turning 50: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

BBC Sounds link remains live to listen after broadcast.
(Note the “Show more” link to fuller details of the production and contributors.)

29th May, 2024 Zen and the Art of Manliness – The AoM Podcast publishes a #ZMM50th interview with Mark Richardson, author of Zen and Now.

6th/7th/8th July, 2024 – (Anniversary of the start of the original 1968 ZMM Road Trip) The full #ZMM50th Commemorative Ride Proposed Itinerary is now published. If you haven’t done so already,  please use the contact form to express interest in participating in this event. Even if you’re not on the ride, some of the events along the way – in Minneapolis MN, in Oakes ND, in Miles City MT and in Bozeman MT – will be open to the public:

Join us SUNDAY July 7th 2pm to 5pm – ZMM50thRide Meeting & Talk at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center (originally sponsored by Robert Pirsig) at 3343 E Bde Maka Ska Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55408.

This will be the first face to face meeting for the Robert Pirsig Association featuring special speakers Mark Richardson, author of Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Ian Glendinning, co-chair of the Robert Pirsig Association, socializing & sharing, and the first meeting for the ZMM50thRide, a Minneapolis to San Francisco motorcycle ride/car caravan departing the next day inspired by Pirsig’s 1968 trip featured in his famous book.

Free and open to the public. Space is limited, so please register in advance: https://forms.gle/UbPRE88hZ5kutZ2B8

(October 2024 – European Robert Pirsig #ZMM50th Conference originally proposed for UK in April, still tentative, but now slipped to the Fall / Autumn to avoid spring / summer diary congestion. TBC – ditto other other events being planned outside the US.)

(Other dates / events – as per the original call below, please also use the contact form to propose, volunteer, organise or simply notify us of other #ZMM50th activities, it doesn’t have to be grand, maybe your local book club, could have a reading to mark the anniversary?)

Call to Celebrate #ZMM50th

The original call to celebrate includes many possible suggestions:

April 15th, 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Part novel, part travelogue and part philosophical treatise, the book and its reclusive author shot to overnight meteoric success in 1974. Generations of avid fans have been deeply influenced by the book’s quest for quality and reminder that “the place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.” To mark the occasion of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’s 50th anniversary, on behalf of a forming Robert Pirsig Association (RPA), we are calling on fans, scholars, libraries, and learning and cultural institutions everywhere to take the celebration into their own hands, organizing as they see fit:

▪ Local chautauquas with speakers, testimonials, sharings and appreciations of the book and its author. [Speakers Bureau (TBA) – A list of possible speakers will be available for those able to host a special speaker.]

▪ Book Club readings of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (Book Club guide)

▪ Creative events & endeavors to honor Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. We encourage everyone to follow the “track of Quality” and make their own unique contribution. Examples: (Art inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, videos, library displays with the various books by Pirsig and scholars, film screenings of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Touring documentary, essays, reflections or even poetry readings, etc.)

Once your event, activity or contribution is ready to be shared, you can submit it to the RPA #ZMM50th Contact Form for listing.

Also in the works for the #ZMM50th…

▪ “Zen and the Open Road” opens at The Smithsonian in Washington DC April 15, 2024, a small exhibit featuring Pirsig’s motorcycle and maritime memorabilia. (Confirmed above)

▪ Online Chautauqua Series sponsored by the RPA (TBA).

▪ Collecting ZMM Testimonials. Share these with the RPA using the General form.

▪ ZMM50th Ride Commemorative Ride in July for motorcyclists & other vehicles to retrace the Zen route with social gathering, sharing and chautauquas organized by local communities in each stop. (The route and original dates in 1968 were from Minneapolis July 8 to San Francisco July 24.)

▪ (Other events to be added as they are announced and shared. Confirmed events listed in date order at the top of the page.)