Photo of Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading in front of City Lights Books

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A Literary Light: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A beautiful literary light passed on February 22, 2021. He inspired a love for books, poetry, and art. Ferlinghetti strove to create a social environment where people could gather and discuss their passion for poetry, books, and the arts. And he succeeded when he founded City Lights. He’s an inspiration to me and what Eve Poetry Magazine represents. I encourage you to read further about Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I’ve linked each of the passages to their sources.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, distinguished American poet, artist and founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in San Francisco, died February 22. He was 101 years old. In a tribute, City Lights noted that Ferlinghetti “was instrumental in democratizing American literature by creating (with Peter D. Martin) the country’s first all-paperback bookstore in 1953, jumpstarting a movement to make diverse and inexpensive quality books widely available. He envisioned the bookstore as a ‘Literary Meeting Place,’ where writers and readers could congregate to share ideas about poetry, fiction, politics, and the arts. Two years later, in 1955, he launched City Lights Publishers with the objective of stirring an ‘international dissident ferment.’ [His own Pictures of the Gone World] was the first volume of the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, which proved to be a seminal force in shaping American poetry.”

Shelf Awareness | Obituary Note | Feb. 24, 2021

Ferlinghetti and City Lights

In 1955, Ferlinghetti launched City Lights Publishers with the Pocket Poets Series, extending his concept of a cultural meeting place to a larger arena. His aim was to present fresh and accessible poetry from around the world in order to create “an international, dissident ferment.” The series began in 1955 with his own Pictures of the Gone World; translations by Kenneth Rexroth and poetry by Kenneth Patchen, Marie Ponsot, Allen Ginsberg, and Denise Levertov were soon added to the list.

From: A Biography of
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
on citylights.com
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