Celebrating

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

at 100

Birthday Events in San Francisco, March 2019

 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti would like everyone to know that although he won't be attending any of the various events being planned to honor his 100th birthday, he's inviting everyone to participate and have a good time: "I'm happy to hear that there are so many people celebrating my birthday. Makes it really special. I figure that with another 100 birthdays that'll be about enough!"

 

MAIN EVENT

*Sunday, March 24th 1-5pm

On Lawrence's birth date, the public is invited to an open house birthday party at City Lights Bookstore with concurrent programming throughout the afternoon at three other North Beach venues: Canessa Gallery (708 Montgomery St, 1-5PM), Café Zoetrope (916 Kearny St, 2-3PM), and Vesuvio's (255 Columbus Ave, 3-4PM).  Free.

6PM-?: after party at Specs (12 William Saroyan Place) presented by Jessica Loos and Elly Simmon with Juan Felipe Herrera, Jerry Cimino, music by La Bolshevita, Stephen Barry, Dorothy Payne, William Taylor, Cara Vida, and Mauro Ffortissimo.

MORE INFO HERE

 

PLUS . . .

 

*On view now and running through March 28th
"Ferlinghetti in Photographs" at The Canessa Gallery.

Open Wednesdays in March, noon to 3PM.

On view March 24th:
Film: Lawrence: A Lifetime in Poetry by Giada Diano & Elisa Polimeni and limited edition letterpress edition of A Coney Island of the Mind, produced by Arion Press.

Second screening with the fillmmakers on March 21st at 7PM. Q&A to follow screening.

708 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. Free.

canessa.org

 

*On view now and running through April 27th

The Rena Bransten Gallery presents a solo show of Ferlinghetti's work, Lawrence Ferlinghetti: 100 Years Without a Net

1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco. Free.

renabranstengallery.com

 

*Sunday, March 17th 1pm

The San Francisco Public Library celebrates Ferlinghetti in the Koret Auditorium with Jack Hirschman, Aggie Falk-Hirschman, Janice Mirikatani, devorah major, Ginny Lim, Kim Shuck, Rafael Jesus Gonzalez, Linda Noel, Dean Rader, Gerry Nicosia, Mauro Zanetti and Tongo Eisen-Martin reading Ferlinghetti poems and sharing stories. Hosted by Neeli Cherkovski.

100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. Free.

MORE INFO HERE

 

*Opening Tuesday, March 19th, with a reception at 6:30PM, and running through May 3rd.

On the occasion of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 100th birthday, the Italian Cultural Institute is hosting "Lawrence d'Italia," an photo exhibition by Walter Pescara, curated by Mauro Aprile Zanetti, featuring San Francisco's first poet laureate, painter, legendary publisher and activist as he performs FLUXUS poetry during his travels in Italy between 2002 and 2005.

The exhibition consists of a photographic body printed with silver salts, plus some pieces imprinted on nautical sails.

Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 601 Van Ness Avenue, Suite F, San Francisco. Free.

MORE INFO HERE

 

*Thursday, March 21st, 7pm

Little Boy by Lawrence Ferlinghetti book release party at City Lights Bookstore!

Opening Statement by Peter Maravelis/City Lights with readings by Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Krasny, Armistead Maupin, Joyce Carol Oates, Julien Poirier, Andrew Sean Greer, and Shobha Rao.

261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco. Free.

MORE INFO HERE

 

*Saturday, March 23rd 1:30-3:30pm

JUST ADDED: Second screening on Monday, March 25th 9:30PM

Chris Felver screens his documentary Ferlinghetti at the Roxie Theater. Preceded by an interview with the filmmaker and Peter Maravelis of City Lights Booksellers.

3117 16th Street, San Francisco. Tickets available.

MORE INFO HERE

roxie.com

 

*Sunday, March 24th, 4-6pm

The Far Out Gallery in the Outer Sunset celebrates Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Everyone is encouraged to read a favorite poem, with cake and prosecco to follow. Calling all "Whitman's wild children."   

3004 Taraval, San Francisco, CA 94116

MORE INFO HERE

 

*Tuesday March 26th, 7pm

Book release party for The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg's HOWL with Ronald Collins and David Skover at City Lights Bookstore.

261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco. Free.

MORE INFO HERE

 

EVENTS IN NYC

 

*Sunday, March 24th, 2pm-8pm

Birthday party and Little Boy launch at Howl! Happening gallery in New York City.

Paying tribute to this historic moment and honoring Ferlinghetti's life and ongoing work, Howl! Happening is delighted to host in New York City a 100th birthday party celebration in association with City Lights Bookstore and Knopf Doubleday publishers. The day will include a launch of Ferlinghetti's new novel Little Boy.

Featuring Ed Sanders, Hettie Jones, David Henderson, Eileen Myles, Bob Holman, Anne Waldman, Helixx C. Armageddon and more to be announced as well as a schedule soon to be included.

The afternoon of celebrations will also feature a screening of Chris Felver's documentary Ferlinghetti as well as clips from Bob Holman's United States of Poetry and the NET documentary USA: Poetry.

6 East 1st Street, NYC 10003. Free.

MORE INFO HERE

 

*Wednesday, March 27th, 8pm

"Omniscient Tape Recorder: Lawrence Ferlinghetti Edition" at the Poetry Project. Previously unreleased recordings of Ferlinghetti at The Poetry Project along with readings and performances from Penny Arcade, Steve Dalachinsky, Mary Jane Dunphe, John S. Hall, Janet Hamill, Filip Marinovich, Lee Ranaldo, Bob Rosenthal, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, and others TBA.

St. Mark's Church, 131 E. 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

MORE INFO HERE

 

A Brief Biography of
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A prominent voice of the wide-open poetry movement that began in the 1950s, Lawrence Ferlinghetti writes poetry, translation, fiction, theater, art criticism, film narration, and essays. Often concerned with politics and social issues, Ferlinghetti's poetry counters an elitist conception of art and the artist's role in the world. Although his poetry is often concerned with everyday life and civic themes, it is never simply personal or polemical, and it stands on his grounding in tradition and universal reach.

Ferlinghetti was born in Bronxville, New York on March 24, 1919, son of Carlo Ferlinghetti, an immigrant from Brescia, Italy, and Clemence Mendes-Monsanto. Following his undergraduate years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he took a degree in journalism, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He was a commander of three different submarine chasers in the Atlantic and saw action at the Normandy invasion. Later in the war, he was assigned to the attack transport USS Selinur in the Pacific. In 1945, just after the atomic bomb obliterated Nagasaki, he witnessed firsthand the horrific ruins of the city. This experience was the origin of his lifelong antiwar stance.

Ferlinghetti received a Master's degree in English Literature from Columbia University in 1947 and a Doctorate de l'Université de Paris (Sorbonne) in 1950. From 1951 to 1953, after he settled in San Francisco, he taught French in an adult education program, painted, and wrote art criticism.  In 1953, with Peter D. Martin, he founded City Lights Bookstore, the first all-paperback bookshop in the country. For over sixty years the bookstore has served as a "literary meeting place" for writers, readers, artists, and intellectuals to explore books and ideas.

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.

Copies of Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems were seized by authorities in 1956 and Ferlinghetti was arrested and charged with selling obscene material. He defended Howl in court, a case that drew national attention to the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat Generation writers, many of whom he later published. (With a fine defense by the ACLU and the support of prestigious literary and academic figures, he was acquitted.) This landmark First Amendment case established a legal precedent for the publication of controversial work with redeeming social importance.

In the 1960s, Ferlinghetti plunged into a life of frequent travel––giving poetry readings, taking part in festivals, happenings, and literary/political conferences in Chile, Cuba, Germany, the USSR, Holland, Fiji, Australia, Nicaragua, Spain, Greece, and the Czech Republic––as well as in Mexico, Italy, and France, where he spent substantial periods of time.  A resolute progressive, he spoke out on such crucial political issues as the Cuban revolution, the nuclear arms race, farm-worker organizing, the Vietnam War, the Sandanista and Zapatista struggles, and the wars in the Middle East.

Ferlinghetti's paintings have been shown at a number of exhibitions and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. In the 1990s he was associated with the international Fluxus movement through the Archivio Francesco Conz in Verona. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including a 2010 retrospective at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Italy, and a group exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2016. His works are in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Arts and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and most recently exhibited at a one-man show at San Francisco's Rena Bransten Gallery in July 2016.

He was named San Francisco's Poet Laureate in August 1998. He has been the recipient of numerous awards: the Los Angeles Times' Robert Kirsch Award, the BABRA Award for Lifetime Achievement, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Award for Contribution to American Arts and Letters, the American Civil Liberties Union's Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award, the Robert Frost Memorial Medal, and the Authors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003, he was was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2005 the National Book Foundation gave him the inaugural Literarian Award for outstanding service to the American literary community. In 2007 he was named Commandeur, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In Italy, his poetry has been awarded the Premio Taormino, the Premio Camaiore, the Premio Flaiano, and the Premio Cavour.

Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind (1958) continues to be one of the most popular poetry books in the U.S., with over 1,000,000 copies in print. A prolific author, Ferlinghetti has over a dozen books currently in print, and his work has been translated into many languages. Among his poetry books are These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993 (1993), A Far Rockaway of the Heart (1997), How to Paint Sunlight (2001), Americus Book I (2004), Poetry as Insurgent Art (2007), Time of Useful Consciousness (2012), and Blasts Cries Laughter (2014), all published by New Directions. His two novels are Her (1960) and Love in the Days of Rage (2001). City Lights issued an anthology of San Francisco poems in 2001. He is the translator of Paroles by Jacques Prévert (from French) and Roman Poems by Pier Paolo Passolini (from Italian.) In 2015 Liveright Publishing, a division of W.W. Norton, published his Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals (1960-2010). In 2017, New Directions published an anthology of his work titled Ferlinghetti's Greatest Poems, and his latest book is a novel, titled Little Boy (Doubleday, 2019).

   
photo Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading

Books by Lawrence Ferlinghetti


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Little Boy
A Novel
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
From the famed publisher and poet, author of the million-copy-selling collection A Coney Island of the Mind, his literary last will and testament — part autobiography, part summing up, part Beat-inflected torrent of language and feeling, and all magical.

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Ferlinghetti's Greatest Poems
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Nancy J. Peters
At last, a compact, powerful overview of one of America's most beloved and radical poets—spanning more than six decades of work.

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Pictures of the Gone World: Pocket Poets Series Number One
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The volume that launched City Lights' iconic Pocket Poets Series, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first collection of poems, in an anniversary edition.

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Writing Across the Landscape
Travel Journals 1960-2010
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Giada Diano, Matthew Gleeson
This long-awaited volume provides a panoramic portrait of art and life across the twentieth century, from Mexico to Morocco, Paris to Rome, and beyond.

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I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career
The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955-1997
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Bill Morgan
Out Now: Marking the 60th anniversary of City Lights Publishers, we present the intimate correspondence of Ginsberg & Ferlinghetti, documenting one of the longest relationships between a publisher and a writer.

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City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A comprehensive selection from Ferlinghetti's famed City Lights Pocket Poets Series, published on the 60th anniversary of its founding.

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Blasts Cries Laughter
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A new, shorter collection by America's preeminent living poet and social activist, who is just as fiery and provocative as ever at 94 years old. Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Blasts contains blasts, blessings, and curses in the vortex of today, taking its cues from the original little magazine, Blast, published by Wyndham Lewis with Ezra Pound...

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A Coney Island of the Mind
50th Anniversary Edition (with CD)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A million copies in print—translated into over a dozen languages—one of the best-selling and most popular books of poetry ever published, now available in a new hardcover edition containing a CD of the author reading his work. Ferlinghetti is a...

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Poetry As Insurgent Art
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
After a lifetime, this (r)evolutionary little book is still a work-in-progress, the poet's ars poetica, to which at 88 he is constantly adding. From the groundbreaking (and bestselling) A Coney Island of the Mind in 1958 to the "personal epic" of...

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Americus, Book I
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti lights out for the territories with Book I of his own born-in-the-U.S.A. epic, Americus. Describing Americus as "part documentary, part public pillow-talk, part personal epic—a descant, a canto unsung, a banal history, a true...

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Pictures of the Gone World
Pocket Poets Number 1
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Published to celebrate forty years of City Lights publishing, which began with the letterpress printing of this book in 1955. It was Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first book, and it has been reprinted twenty-one times, having never been out of print. The...

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San Francisco Poems
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 1
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Here are all of Ferlinghetti's poems set in the city he has lived in for over half a century. He brings alive, with wit and lyricism, scenes of city life: a Giants baseball game, the Green Street Marching Mortuary Band, bohemian North Beach, Golden...

See more books by Lawrence Ferlinghetti