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Collection Number: 05042

Collection Title: Lillabulero Records, 1964-1975

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 725 items)
Abstract Lillabulero was a small literary magazine founded and principally edited by Russell Banks and William Matthews in 1964 while both were students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The magazine ran through 14 issues and contained poetry and prose works by lesser known authors, as well as critical pieces discussing developments in modern literature. Issues 1-5 were published in Chapel Hill, N.C.; subsequent numbers were published in Northwood Narrows, N.H. Banks and Matthews also founded a small press under the same name, which issued a series of chapbooks and other compilations of literary work. These undertakings were abandoned in 1974 to allow Banks and Matthews to devote more time to their own creative projects. Records consists primarily of letters relating to established and potential contributors to the magazine, as well as correspondence between editors Russell Banks and William Matthews and others at similar publications. The letters include commentary on submissions and discuss matters relevant to the production of a literary magazine at a small press. Also included are letters on more general topics, such as the nature of poetry, social conditions in the United States, and the war in Vietnam. There is also correspondence of a more personal nature among Banks and Matthews and their friends. Correspondents include Floyce Alexander, Carol Berge, Wendell Berry, James Bertolino, Alan Brilliant, Paul Hannigan, Geof Hewitt, David Ignatow, David Madden, Howard McCord, Paul Metcalf, Robert Morgan, Paul Pines, Henry Roth, Max Steele, Peter Wild, William Witherup, and Arthur Yanoff. Interspersed in the correspondence are several versions of a prospectus directed at potential funding sources and retailers and a few grant applications to government agencies and other sources of funding. There is also a brief essay entitled, "Why We Killed a Perfectly Healthy Literary Magazine," in which Banks and Matthews discussed the reasons for shutting Lillabulero down after the 14th issue.
Creator Lillabulero.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Lillabulero Records #5042, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from George Robert Minkoff of Alford, Mass., in December 2000 (Acc. 98803) and from Michael Good Books of Woodacre, Calif., in May 2006 (Acc. 100421).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Lillabulero was a small literary magazine founded and principally edited by Russell Banks and William Matthews in 1964 while both were students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The magazine ran through 14 issues and contained poetry and prose works by lesser-known authors, as well as critical pieces discussing developments in modern literature. Issues 1-5 were published in Chapel Hill, N.C.; subsequent numbers were published in Northwood Narrows, N.H.

Banks and Matthews also founded a small press under the same name, which issued a series of chapbooks and other compilations of literary work.. These undertakings were abandoned in 1974 to allow Banks and Matthews to devote more time to their own creative projects. Russell Banks subsequently published many works of fiction including Affliction (1989)), Cloudsplitter (1998), and The Sweet Hereafter (1991). William Matthews published several books of poetry, including A Happy Childhood (1984) and Time and Money (1997), before his death in 1997.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Lillabulero records consists primarily of letters relating to established and potential contributors to the poetry magazine, as well as correspondence between editors Russell Banks and William Matthews and others at similar publications. The letters include commentary on submissions and discuss matters relevant to the production of a literary magazine at a small press. Also included are letters on more general topics, such as the nature of poetry, social conditions in the United States, and the war in Vietnam. There is also correspondence of a more personal nature among Banks and Matthews and their friends. Correspondents include Floyce Alexander, Carol Berge, Wendell Berry, James Bertolino, Alan Brilliant, Paul Hannigan, Geof Hewitt, David Ignatow, David Madden, Howard McCord, Paul Metcalf, Robert Morgan, Paul Pines, Henry Roth, Max Steele, Peter Wild, William Witherup, and Arthur Yanoff. Interspersed in the correspondence are several versions of a prospectus directed at potential funding sources and retailers and a few grant applications to government agencies and other sources of funding. There is also a brief essay entitled, "Why We Killed a Perfectly Healthy Literary Magazine," in which Banks and Matthews discussed the reasons for shutting Lillabulero down after the 14th issue.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Original Deposit, 1964-1975.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of May 2006, 1967-1970.

28 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Twenty-eight letters dating between 1967 and 1983 from William Matthews to the poet William Witherup.

Folder 27

Letters from William Matthews to William Witherup #05042, Series: "Addition of May 2006, 1967-1970." Folder 27

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Processing Information

Processed by: John Foster, January 2001

Encoded by: John Foster, January 2001

Finding aid updated in July 2007 by Margaret Dickson because of addition.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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