University of Pittsburgh
October 24, 2006

University of Pittsburgh Book Center to Host Meet and Speak With Author Bill Morgan Nov. 3

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Author and University of Pittsburgh alumnus Bill Morgan will take part in a Meet and Speak session and will sign copies of his new book, I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg (Viking, 2006). The event takes place at noon Nov. 3 in Pitt's Book Center, 4000 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Morgan's master's degree thesis at the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1970s required that he compile a bibliography of renowned Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. His research brought him into the personal lives of poets Allen Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, and he became a confidant of both.

Morgan's intimate portrayal of Ginsberg is the only portrait of the artist that encompasses his entire life. Published on the 50th anniversary of Ginsberg's groundbreaking Howl-published by Ferlinghetti's publishing house, City Lights-this biography captures the creation of that book of poetry. It is set in the socio-political backdrop of a cultural climate Ginsberg was helping to create.

A unique feature of the biography is that the book lists the titles of Ginsberg's poems in the margins so that the reader can see what the poet was composing at various points throughout his life. Morgan chronicles the poet's battles with censorship, his exploration of Buddhism, and his search for love.

"No other biographer has given us such a totally straight three-dimensional picture of Allen Ginsberg," Ferlinghetti said in a review of Morgan's book. "It is unembedded reportage at its very best."

This free public event is sponsored by Pitt's Book Center and Viking Books. For more information, call 412-648-1453.