News – USA – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and founder of City Lights, dead at the age of 101


Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s copy of TS. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, his most valuable book, was given to him in 1943 by his girlfriend’s mother in Greenwich Village

Poets gather at City Lights around 1965 Lawrence Ferlinghetti is in the top row, in a hood Among those in attendance is Allen Ginsberg below Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti with Allen Ginsberg at the inauguration of the Jack Kerouac Commerative, a work of art in public space in Lowell Massam 25 June 1988

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is reading a poem after receiving the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American literary community at the 2005 National Book Awards in New York

Lawrence Ferlinghetti with the plaque that recognized the City Lights Bookstore as a national literary landmark in 1992

Francis Ford Coppola, director, producer and founder of North Beach Citizens, with Lawrence Ferlinghetti at NBC’s Italian Dinner Celebration in 2012

Lawrence Ferlinghetti turns the pages on 1 March 2018 at his apartment in North Beach in one of his books

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (right) with George Whitman, owner of Shakespeare and Company in Paris, where Ferlinghetti lived after serving in the Navy during World War II

Lawrence Ferlinghetti admires on 1 A portrait of his late wife Selden Kirby-Smith

at his apartment in North Beach March 2018

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s first line for the San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. July 1951 In the early 1950s he wrote many reviews of poetry collections under the name Ferling. 1954 he got his original family name back

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, publisher, painter and key figure in the Beats and every other counterculture literary movement in San Francisco, has died at the age of 101

Ferlinghetti died Monday night in his second-floor walk-in apartment in North Beach, where he lived for 40 years. The cause of death was degenerative lung disease, said Nancy Peters, co-owner and retired executive director of City Lights Bookstore and Publishers

“I was fortunate to have worked closely with him for more than 50 years,” Peters told The Chronicle on Tuesday. “We lost a great poet and visionary Lawrence – never Larry – was a legend and a legend in his day great Franciscan ”

He left dozens of verse books, most notably “A Coney Island of the Mind” published in 1958 and never out of print A million copies were published in a dozen languages. His last book, a novel called “Little Boy,” was out a week before the 100th Author’s birthday published

Ferlinghetti was both a veteran of World War II D-Day and the postwar left intelligentsia, but his greatest contribution to the world of letters was as a co-founder of City Lights, a North Beach paperback bookstore, and Propeller the San Francisco Renaissance in Poetry

“I’m there in my mind the whole time,” Ferlinghetti said in a 2018 interview with The Chronicle of the world-famous bookstore. How often he was in business late in life, the always carefree bookseller actually replied: “When In reality I don’t occupy myself more poetically ”

Michael McClure, who died last year, was a poet who has been associated with Ferlinghetti for more than 60 years “Lawrence Ferlinghetti is the most widely read poet of modern times. His own books of poetry and his series for City Lights Press have made the consciousness of the The imagination of many generations sharpened and deepened, and they continue to do so. City Lights is and was the center of the poetry world ”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is supported by a jazz band and gives a reading in the Beat Nightclub in 1957

Ferlinghetti arrived in San Francisco in 1951 and asked a stranger to direct him towards the Bohemian Quarter in the city. He moved in and struggled to make it as a painter when he took the opportunity to share his life and that of Change North Beach

“I came out of my painting studio and drove up Columbus Avenue,” he recalled in a 2012 interview. “It was a route I wouldn’t normally take, and I saw a man putting up a sign where City Lights now is ”

“I said,” What are you doing? “and he said,” I’m starting a paperback bookstore, but I have no money. I have $ 500. “I said,” I have $ 500 “It took about five minutes,” Ferlinghetti remarked. “We shook hands and the store opened in June 1953 as the City Lights Pocket Bookshop ”

Two years later City Lights became a publisher. The first publication under the imprint of the Pocket Poets Series was his own “Pictures of the Gone World”, followed by “Howl”, the branding work by Allen Ginsberg, which was published in October 1955 in the famous Six Gallery was unveiled on Fillmore Street

Ferlinghetti himself did not read the Six Gallery, but the next day he sent Ginsberg a telegram offer to publish Ginsberg’s graphic poem “Howl & Other Poems” was published by City Lights in 1956, and Ferlinghetti assisted him during an obscenity process, who made North Beach known as the home of the beats

“When the trial began, I was young and stupid and thought a few months in jail would be fine I would have plenty of time to read,” Ferlinghetti later told The Chronicle

Ferlinghetti never got that reading time, but he got the publicity Judge Clayton W Horn ruled that the poem could not be considered obscene because it “redeemed social meaning.” The case was covered by a photo in Life magazine

“Lawrence Ferlinghetti opened the door to approve publication in this country,” said San Francisco writer Herbert Gold. “He risked a lot for many of the books that are now considered classics”

City Lights, on a triangular lot on Columbus Avenue and Broadway, was the country’s first independent bookstore devoted exclusively to low-cost paperback books. Though ultimately hardcover books too, it still focuses on Paperback books in his poetry room, which leads up a creaky staircase that faces current building codes

“It still seemed like the last frontier that no longer exists,” Ferlinghetti said in his 2018 Chronicle interview of San Francisco. “I mean, in 1951 it was a wide open city and it seemed like it could you do everything you want here It was as if so much was missing that if it was to become a real city there was so much that it had to get that it didn’t have And for example, as far as the bookstores were concerned, all bookstores closed at 5pm and they weren’t open on the weekends and there was no place to sit and usually a clerk would be over you asking what you wanted

“The first thing I realized was that there wasn’t a bookstore that could become a place for the literary community. It really matters, if you want a literary community there has to be a place”

Anyone interested in bohemian San Francisco came to City Lights to look for Ferlinghetti, who was invariably professorially dressed compared to the beats and musicians hanging out on the sidewalk under the awning and in the alley was home to two of the most famous group photos in San Francisco history, both taken in 1965. One is known as “The Last Gathering of the Beats,” the entire bohemian tribe including Richard Brautigan in a cowboy hat on the stove ultra-cool Bob Dylan with Robbie Robertson, McClure and Ginsberg

The shop front is known for its row of clergy windows with radical political messages, all hand-painted by Ferlinghetti on butcher paper

“His particular brand of well-founded, highly intelligent, but funny political activism. He has carried this effectively but carelessly through his entire career so far in his life and in his poetry”, says the poet Gary Snyder in the documentary “Ferlinghetti” from 2009 directed by Christopher Felver

Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti was born on 24 Born March 1919 in Yonkers, NY His father, Carlo Ferling, had shortened the family name when he emigrated from Italy, but Lawrence later reverted to the original. His father died before he was born and because his mother Clemence had a nervous breakdown he was sent to his aunt in France / p>

When his aunt couldn’t handle him, he was taken to an orphanage (only after his return at the age of 6 did he find out that he had four older brothers)

“It was straight from Dickens,” Ferlinghetti said, remembering reaching out to his beloved aunt by sending her a letter when he was 12

“That’s when I first discovered that I can really write,” he says in the documentary. His aunt never replied to the letter and he never saw or heard from her again

He was then raised by a family in Bronxville, NY, with a great library, and went through Bronxville public school doing Eagle Scout the same year he was caught stealing pencils

He pulled Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward Angel” off the shelves of the library, which inspired him to become a writer and to do so at Wolfe’s Alma Mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from university and served at US. Marine as a ship commander in World War II He was in the Armada in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and served as a skipper on a submarine hunter He later sailed to Japan and saw Nagasaki after the explosion and “it made me one lifelong pacifists, “he said,” there is no doubt about that “

On the GI Bill received his Masters from Columbia University in 1947 on the critic John Ruskin and the painter J.M.W. Turner From there he went overseas for the second time to do his doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1950 There he studied comparative literature and did his dissertation (in French) on “The city as a symbol of modern poetry” ”

On a ship bound for France, Ferlinghetti met his future wife, Selden Kirby-Smith, who passed Kirby. She was the granddaughter of a Confederate General during the Civil War and had earned her Masters in Colombia

Though he did not like being exposed to the beats and did not support their excessive lifestyle, Ferlinghetti helped them with their finances and offered his cabin on the central coast to dry out among the most important ones included Jack Kerouac, who Ferlinghetti as Lorenzo Monsanto fictionalized in the autobiographical novel “Big Sur”, which plays in both City Lights and Ferlinghetti’s cabin

The beats fathered the flower children and Ferlinghetti rode this scene up to “The” Last Waltz “, the band’s farewell concert and film by Martin Scorsese. In it, Ferlinghetti follows on stage in his typical Van Morrison bowler hat to poetically perform” Lover’s Prayer ” to interpret ”

In the early 1950s, Ferlinghetti wrote many reviews of books of poetry in The Chronicle under the name Ferling His first line in the paper was on Dec. July 1951 1954 he got his original family name back

Ferlinghetti was forever politically active and took part in events in the USA, Latin America and Europe for decades.He protested against the Vietnam War and the nuclear arms race As the first poet laureate from San Francisco – a position he held from 1998 to 2000 – he called on the city to replace the “ugly” Central Freeway, which was damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, with a boulevard

“The norm is that as people get older they become more politically conservative,” said Ferlinghetti, “but for me it was the opposite”

“City Lights is not stuck in the past. It’s not just an institution of the 50s or 60s,” says author Dave Eggers in the 2009 documentary “It’s always looking for the next voice. It’s so alive like everything else ”

Ferlinghetti’s latest book of poems is “Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems”, published by New Directions in November 2017 New Directions also published “A Coney Island of the Mind”, which is still the most popular book of poetry in the US with more than 1 million copies in print It has been translated into nine languages. In 2015, Liveright Ferlinghetti’s “Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1960-2010”

was published

Ferlinghetti’s honors included the Robert Frost Memorial Medal, which he won in 2003, and the National Book Foundation’s first literary prize in 2007. In 2006, he was appointed Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture

In 1994, an alley in North Beach was renamed Via Ferlinghetti in his honor. At the dedication ceremony, he mentioned that the cul-de-sac was once used by pirates and funeral directors and that a poet could hang out with this crowd

“I was 30 before I first saw San Francisco, and I’ve spent most of the past 40 years walking the streets of little old wooden old North Beach,” he told the crowd at the inauguration

For the past few years, he’s stayed close to home while working on Little Boy, he also painted and had an art opening in the Rena Bransten Gallery on the Minnesota Street Project in the summer of 2016

One of his final poems, “Trump’s Trojan Horse,” was published in Nation magazine in 2017. It began: “Homer did not live long enough / To tell of Trump’s White House / Which is his Trojan horse / Which all the men of the Presidents / Breaking Out to Destroy Democracy ”

Although he was no longer a regular at City Lights, Ferlinghetti remained his co-owner with Peters, and “his political and cultural views still set the agenda for City Lights,” said Stacey Lewis, advertising director for City Lights

“Poetry should be dissident and subversive and be a means of change”, wrote Ferlinghetti in his last book “Poetry as Insurgent Art” “Question everything and everyone, including Socrates, who questioned everything”Strive to change the world in such a way that no more dissident is needed A naturally born nonviolent public enemy”

Ferlinghetti is buried next to his late ex-wife Selby Kirden-Smith on the family property in the druid area of ​​the Bolinas cemetery. The survivors include a daughter, Julie Ferlinghetti Sasserof Thompson’s station, Tenn and son Lorenzo Ferlinghetti from Bolinas

Sam Whiting has been a screenwriter on The San Francisco Chronicle for 30 years.He started in the People section anchored by Herb Caen’s column and has been writing about people for five years since he had a Sunday weekly magazine called Neighborhoods Currently deals with arts, culture and entertainment for the datebook field, walks at least three miles a day in San Francisco looking for public art and street art to post on Instagram @sfchronicle_art

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat Generation, City Lights Bookseller & Publishers, Allen Ginsberg, Publisher, Literature, Howl, San Francisco

News – USA – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and founder of City Lights , dead at 101