Poet, Painter, Publisher
In 1953, then professor and writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti started City Lights Books, a center of beatnik culture and one of the most vibrant bookstores and publishing companies in the world. One of Ferlinghetti’s most famous books is A Coney Island of the Mind and in 2009, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Ferlinghetti is 89 years old, he has lived in San Francisco for 57 years, he published Allen Ginsberg's HOWL, he created the center for the beats, he was San Francisco's first poet laureate, there is a street named after him , he has traveled the world, he saw the destruction of Nagasaki, charred bodies, that changed his idea of politics and the "truth" forever. Ferlinghetti's most recent book of poetry is titled Poetry as Insurgent Art and here he speaks of the power of poetry, the evolution of political action, and what it feels like to be 89 years old.