Lawlor, William T. 1951-

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Lawlor, William T. 1951-


Born January 1, 1951, in New York, NY; son of Edward (an insurance underwriter) and Lillian (a homemaker) Lawlor; married Valentina Peguero (a professor of history), January 2, 1982. Education: Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1972, M.A., 1974; Ball State University, Ph.D. (British and American literature, with cognates in lingustic and the teaching of English), 1978. Religion: Episcopalian.


Home—Stevens Point, WI. Office—447 Collins Classroom Ctr., University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI 54481. E-mail—[email protected]


Educator and author. Ball State University, Muncie, IN, instructor in English, 1974-78; University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, professor of English, 1978—.


Modern Language Association, Beat Studies Association.

Awards, Honors

Wisconsin Art Board literary arts fellowship, 1987; named poet laureate, City of Stevens Point, WI, 2003-05; University of Wisconsin—Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities system fellow, 2006-07.


(Editor and translator) Let's Go down to the Beach: Poems and Translations of Four Caribbean Writers, Poetry Harbor, 1996.

The Beat Generation: A Bibliographical Teaching Guide, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 1998.

(Editor) Beat Culture: Lifestyles, Icons, and Impact, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 2005.


An educator, poet, and editor, William T. Lawlor has focused much of his academic study on the works of Jack Keroac, Allen Ginsberg, and other writers and poets who are collectively known as the Beat Generation. As Lawlor explained to SATA, "this mid-twentieth-century group of artists was spontaneous and inventive in method and spiritual and ecological in themes. The Beats helped shape the counterculture of the 'Sixties and influenced the environmental movement in subsequent decades."

Discussing his 1998 work The Beat Generation: A Bibliographical Teaching Guide, Lawlor once commented: "Literature arises from tradition and from rebellion from that tradition. I admire the classical and neoclassical traditions, but I also have special interests in innovators and activists. The Beats have deep roots in tradition, but they also flourish[ed] because they experiment[ed] with form and create[d] spontaneously. In … [my book] I try to provide a balanced and comprehensive view of the Beat Generation, the many sources now available for study, and the various approaches to teaching the Beats in schools."

Beat Culture: Lifestyles, Icons, and Impact is an encyclopedia that "examines the meaning of ‘beat,’ the people and writers of the Beat Generation, the participants in artistic movements surrounding the Beats, and the culture and history of the era," Lawlor explained. "Beats are part of an interdisciplinary movement that includes musicians, painters, dancers, photographers, and many other artists."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, October 1, 2005, Carol Sue Harles, review of Beat Culture: Lifestyles, Icons, and Impact, p. 79.

Choice, November, 1998, W.M. Gargan, review of The Beat Generation: A Bibliographical Teaching Guide, p. 492; November, 2005, J.F. Shultz, review of Beat Culture, p. 446.

Library Journal, November 1, 2005, review of Beat Culture, p. 112.

School Library Journal, December, 2005, Herman Sutter, review of Beat Culture, p. 90.

Reference and Research Book News, August, 2005, review of Beat Culture, p. 270.


University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point Web site, (September 15, 2007), "William T. Lawlor."