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UMass Lowell Kerouac Conference Showcases Beat Poetry


Conference to be Held Oct. 2-3

LOWELL -Poetry will be the focus of this year's University of Massachusetts Lowell Jack Kerouac Conference on Beat Literature, formerly the Beat Attitudes Conference, being held on campus Oct. 2 to 3.

According to conference coordinator, Prof. Hilary Holladay, English, the Beat Movement was largely a poetry movement, and its legacy strongly impacts poets of today.

"Although most people think of Kerouac as a novelist," says Holladay, "he wrote countless poems and considered himself a poet equal in talent to Allen Ginsberg."

In addition to the numerous papers to be presented on this topic, there will also be a special presentation on Kerouac's 120-foot scroll manuscript of On the Road. Jim Canary, curator at Indiana University's Lilly Library, and Matt Theado, a Kerouac scholar at Gardner-Webb University, will present their findings about the history and composition of this fascinating document, which sold at auction a few years ago for $2.4 million. Their presentation will feature a display of a manual typewriter similar to the one Kerouac used.

"Snapshot Poetics," a exhibit of photographs by Allen Ginsberg, will also be on display in the University Gallery starting with the conference.

 "The exhibit adds an important visual dimension to the Kerouac Conference and suggests the multidisciplinary nature of the Beat Movement," says Holladay.

Conference sponsors include the Estate of Jack and Stella Kerouac (John Sampas, literary executor), the College of Arts and Sciences and the English and Art departments. Holladay has also partnered with organizers of the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! festival held simultaneously with the conference.

For more information, check the Web site at or contact Prof. Hilary Holladay at For information on the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! Festival, go to or call 1-877-KEROUAC.

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224