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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


For immediate use

Jan. 8, 2002 -- No. 4


Ferlinghetti, City Lights Books, topics of exhibit opening Jan. 15

UNC alumnus Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his City Lights Books publishing house, stars of the 1950s beat movement in writing and culture, will be topics of an exhibit opening Jan. 15 at UNC's Wilson Library.

Ferlinghetti biographer Bill Morgan will speak about the movement, showing slides by the late beat poet Allen Ginsberg, at 6 p.m., after an opening reception from 5-6 p.m. Both will be free and open to the public, sponsored by the library's Rare Book Collection.

Ferlinghetti, now 82 and living in California, is not expected to visit UNC during the exhibit, which will run through March. Titled "Visions from the Underground: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights Books and Alternative Publishing in America," the exhibit will feature books, periodicals and photographs of the beat poets of the '50s and activities at City Lights. Also highlighted will be Ferlinghetti's writing and works published by City Lights in the past 45 years. UNC graduate student Jill Katte curated the exhibit.

Morgan's talk, in the library's Pleasants Family Assembly Room, will be titled "An Illustrated Tour of the Beat Generation."

Ferlinghetti, a 1941 UNC graduate in journalism, won a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the university in 1996. After leaving UNC, Ferlinghetti served in the Navy during World War II, then earned a master's degree in literature from Columbia University and a doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris.

He co-founded City Lights, the nation's first all-paperback bookstore, in San Francisco in 1951. Later he founded and became editor of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers. Under the City Lights imprint, Ferlinghetti published the Pocket Poets Series, introducing William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg and other now-famous poets of the beat movement.

City Lights published Ginsberg's poem "Howl," which landed Ferlinghetti and his publishing partner in court in a series of obscenity trials. The publishers won the cases, establishing a precedent called social redeeming value that helped subsequent writers and artists to claim protection under the first amendment to the Constitution.

Ferlinghetti wrote two novels, two poetry books and several translations from French and Italian. His book "A Coney Island of the Mind" sold more than a million copies.

Wilson library opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Those planning to attend the Jan. 15 events should call Liza Terll at 962-1301. For more information about the exhibit, call 962-1143.


Horse racing's peak in N.C., in 1800s, topic of UNC exhibit opening Jan. 17

Before the Civil War, North Carolina was to horse racing what Kentucky is today.

So said Neil Fulghum, keeper of the North Carolina Collection Gallery at UNC's Wilson Library, where an exhibit on the topic will be free and open to the public Jan. 17 to March 20. Titled "The Sport of Kings (and Peasants): Horse Racing in North Carolina Before the Civil War," the exhibit will trace the sport's rise through the early 1800s and its pervasive impact on the state. Books, maps, paintings, old newspaper stories and other items will tell the stories and locate early racetracks.

"Of special interest will be Sir Archie, an outstanding quarter horse in the early 1800s and an ancestor to many of this country's finest thoroughbreds," Fulghum said.

Guided tours of the exhibit will be at 2 p.m. Wednesdays or by appointment (call 962-1172). Library hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

"In the decades just before the Civil War, horse racing, or 'running,' as they called it then, was by far the most popular sport in North Carolina and most other Southern States," said Laura Baxley, gallery assistant keeper. "It grew from simple, personal challenges between local amateur riders to elaborate, intense competitions between prominent families or entire communities." For more information, call 962-1172.

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Contact: UNC News Services, (919) 962-2091