I moved to this area a few years too late to attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's conferences on the Beats and its hosting of Kerouac's On the Road scroll, but starting today, I will be able to catch UNC's new exhibit "The Beats and Beyond":
The emergence and evolution of American counterculture poetry in the third quarter of the twentieth century is the topic of the exhibit The Beats and Beyond: Counterculture Poetry, 1950-1975 in the Rare Book Collection of UNC's Wilson Library.
The Beats and Beyond will showcase approximately 100 publications, drawings, photos, and handwritten items associated with writers from groups such as the Black Mountain poets, the Beats, the San Francisco Renaissance, and two generations of the New York School of Poets. The exhibit will also examine the literary counterculture's engagement with issues such as censorship, feminism, Black nationalism, and the Vietnam War.
The Beats and Beyond builds on successful UNC Library exhibits about Lawrence Ferlinghetti (2002), Allen Ginsberg (2004), and Jack Kerouac (2005) to launch a broader examination of American counterculture poetry between World War II and the Vietnam War. Poets represented include Ginsberg, Kerouac, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Diane di Prima, Michael McClure, Frank O'Hara, and Amiri Baraka.
Some exhibit highlights include:
The Beats and Beyond will be on view through April 21 through July 3 in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room on the third floor of Wilson Library. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
- The first volume (1970-71) from Beat poet Diane di Prima's manuscript journals that eventually spanned twenty years and eight-two volumes;
- an unproduced play (ca. 1953) by New York School poet Frank O'Hara titled Amorous Nightmares of Delay: An Eclogue;
- works by poets including Charles Olson, Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov who were associated during the 1950s with North Carolina's Black Mountain College near Asheville; and
- a sampling of "little magazines" (small-run publications in which many poets published their work during the 1950s, as part of the so-called "mimeograph revolution").