Happy Birthday

DZEFg20VMAEpQbmI grew up in the 1950s, in San Diego, went to a Los Angeles university in the 1960s, and am proud to admit that my most memorable professor was Jack Hirshman. Add Hirshman to an early (and frequent) exposure to James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and S. I. Hayakawa, and it isn’t too much of a stretch to learn that my first young-adult visit to a famous landmark in San Francisco was not Carol Doda, but rather the City Lights Bookstore.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a personal local favorite. Back when I could only afford to nurse a single cup of coffee until the wee hours (ten cents a cup), I actually owned at least two volumes of Ferlinghetti’s poetry. Jack Hirshman was honored as Poet Laureaate of San Francisco and before that Lawrence Ferlighetti held the honor.

Does your town or city have a Port Laureate?

He’s 99 years old now and I am in my declining 70s. I wrote a lot of unpublished poetry in the ’60s but look at what Ferlinghetti published.

  • Pictures of the Gone World (City Lights, 1955) Poetry (enlarged, 1995)
  • A Coney Island of the Mind (New Directions, 1958) Poetry
  • Tentative Description of a Dinner Given to Promote the Impeachment of President Eisenhower (Golden Mountain Press, 1958) Broadside poem
  • Her (New Directions, 1960) Prose
  • One Thousand Fearful Words for Fidel Castro (City Lights, 1961) Broadside poem
  • Starting from San Francisco (New Directions, 1961) Poetry (HC edition includes LP of author reading selections)
  • Journal for the Protection of All Beings (City Lights, 1961) Journal
  • Unfair Arguments with Existence (New Directions, 1963) Short Plays
  • Where is VietNam? (Golden Mountain Press, 1963) Broadside poem
  • Routines (New Directions, 1964) 12 Short Plays
  • Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes (1968)
  • On the Barracks: Journal for the Protection of All Beings 2 (City Lights, 1968) Journal
  • Tyrannus Nix? (New Directions, 1969) Poetry
  • The Secret Meaning of Things (New Directions, 1970) Poetry
  • The Mexican Night (New Directions, 1970) Travel journal
  • Back Roads to Far Towns After Basho (City Lights, 1970) Poetry
  • Love Is No Stone on the Moon (ARIF, 1971) Poetry
  • Open Eye, Open Heart (New Directions, 1973) Poetry
  • Who Are We Now? (New Directions, 1976) Poetry
  • Northwest Ecolog (City Lights, 1978) Poetry
  • Landscapes of Living and Dying (1980)
  • Over All the Obscene Boundaries (1986)
  • Love in the Days of Rage (E. P. Dutton, 1988; City Lights, 2001) Novel
  • A Buddha in the Woodpile (Atelier Puccini, 1993)
  • These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955–1993 (New Directions, 1993)
  • City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (City Lights, 1995)
  • A Far Rockaway Of The Heart (New Directions, 1998)
  • How to Paint Sunlight: Lyrics Poems & Others, 1997–2000 (New Directions, 2001)
  • San Francisco Poems (City Lights Foundation, 2001) Poetry
  • Life Studies, Life Stories (City Lights, 2003)
  • Americus: Part I (New Directions, 2004)
  • A Coney Island of the Mind (Arion Press, 2005), with portraiture by R.B. Kitaj
  • Poetry as Insurgent Art (New Directions, 2007) Poetry
  • A Coney Island of the Mind: Special 50th Anniversary Edition with a CD of the author reading his work (New Directions, 2008)
  • 50 Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti 50 Images by Armando Milani (Rudiano, 2010) Poetry and Graphics
  • Time of Useful Consciousness, (Americus, Book II) (New Directions, 2012)
  • City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology: 60th Anniversary Edition (City Lights, 2015)
  • I Greet You At The Beginning Of A Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg 1955–1997. (City Lights, 2015)
  • Pictures of the Gone World: 60th Anniversary Edition (City Lights, 2015)

One response

  1. I’ve always heard of that bookstore, Mike, but you’re the first person I knew who was fortunate enough to visit it. Good on you!

    Like

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