The Beat Book: Small Press, Fine Press, and Major Publishers

Dr. William Lawlor
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Because Beat writers challenged censorship of books and wrote in avant-garde forms, underground publishers created little magazines and small-press publications. Little magazines such as Big Table, Black Mountain Review, and Floating Bear provided forums for writers who otherwise would have gone unpublished. Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Books produced the inexpensive Pocket Poets Series, including Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems (1956) and Ferlinghetti's Pictures of the Gone World (1955). In some cases, small presses produced fine-arts editions, such as Wallace Berman's Semina, which made the book into Assemblage sculpture, and David Haselwood's fine editions, which included leather binding, gilt stamping, and fine Japanese paper. As the Beats entered the mainstream, major publishers, such as Viking and Grove Press,gave Beat writings full distribution and significant publicity in standard editions.

Keywords: Beat Writers, Little Magazines, Small Press Publications, Fine Press, Major Publishers
Stream: Publishing
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. William Lawlor

Professor of English, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA

William Lawlor is editor of Beat Culture: Lifestyles, Icons, and Impact (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2005) and author of The Beat Generation: A Bibliographical Teaching Guide (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow, 1998). During the 2006-2007 academic year, he was a System Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is Professor of English and Writing Emphasis Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

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