Distributed September 21, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Lecture set for Oct. 21

John Hay Library to open new William S. Burroughs exhibit Oct. 10

The work of the controversial and influential Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs will be on exhibit at Brown University’s John Hay Library Oct. 10 through Dec. 29, 2000. Robert Jackson, an authority on Burroughs’ work, will speak on the writer’s legacy Oct. 21.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The work of the controversial and influential Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs will be the subject of a new exhibit at the John Hay Library.

William S. Burroughs: Time*Place*Word will open Oct. 10 and continue through Dec. 29 at the library. In conjunction with the exhibition, noted Burroughs collector and authority Robert Jackson will speak on the writer’s work and legacy on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green.

The John Hay exhibit will celebrate Burroughs’ continuing influence on writing, popular music and art. Considered one of the 20th century’s most interesting and controversial writers, Burroughs – along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg – was an early leader of Beat Generation writing. Interest in his work has grown since his death in 1997.

“His writing was found to be offensive to some ... but Burroughs has proved to be an insightful and visionary writer, accurately predicting the outbreak of an AIDS-like virus, the government’s war on drugs, and the effects of global warming,” said Eric C. Shoaf, head of preservation at the John Hay Library.

More than 100 items will be on display. The University’s collection of Burroughs’ work consists of dozens of his publications from the 1960s through the late 1990s. It contains copies of his earliest books, published by the Olympia Press in Paris, complete with rare dust jackets, including an original edition of the groundbreaking Naked Lunch and his first book, Junkie, a pulp paperback published under the pen name William Lee. The exhibit will also offer an extremely rare edition of Minutes to Go, one of 10 special copies numbered and signed by the publisher and containing original manuscript letters from Burroughs and others.

Jackson, a well-known Cleveland attorney who spent time with Burroughs on several occasions, will offer “compelling insight into the mind of the writer,” according to Shoaf.

Both the Jackson lecture and the Burroughs exhibit are free and open to the public. The John Hay Library, located at 20 Prospect St., is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.