Lawrence Ferlinghetti

(b. 1920) American poet and publisher

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(1920– ),

American Beat poet. Although born in New York, he was the mainstay of the San Francisco Renaissance—the West Coast wing of the Beat movement. In 1953 he co‐founded City Lights Books, a publishing house and bookstore that specialized in Beat poetry. He was arrested in 1956 for publishing Ginsberg's Howl and wrote a full account of the trial (‘Horn on Howl’) for the Evergreen Review (1957). His best‐known collection is A Coney Island of the Mind (1958); later volumes include A Far Rockaway of the Heart (1997), How to Paint Sunlight (2001), and Americus Book I (2004). He has also written fiction, art criticism, and other prose works. Unlike many of his contemporaries he disapproved of the Beat's emphasis on the self and argued for a more directly political project with which they could be aligned. A fervent supporter of the Cuban revolution, he composed the poem ‘One Thousand Fearful Words for Fidel Castro’ in 1960.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.