On February 24th Talk of the Bay host Len Beyea broadcast a tribute to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who died the day before at the age of 101. Ferlinghetti was the founder of City Lights Books and City Lights publishing house in San Francisco. City Lights published many of the “Beat Poets” of the 1950s, and was instrumental in the literary renaissance that started in San Francisco. Ferlinghetti was himself a poet, as well as a visual artist. His 1958 poetry collection A Coney Island of the Mind was one of the few poetry books to ever achieve bestseller status. In 1998 San Francisco made Lawrence Ferlinghetti the City’s Poet Laureate.
The excerpt from Shannon Robinson’s essay about Lawrence Ferlinghetti read in the broadcast can be read in its entirety at https://www.thedailybeast.com/lawrence-ferlinghetti-fearless-poet-publisher-and-bookseller-is-dead-at-101
Errata: The excerpt from the 1995 PBS NewsHour report played in the broadcast is referred to as a tribute to Ferlinghetti on his 95th birthday. It was actually his 96th birthday.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s books are available from local booksellers, and recommended.