Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Legendary Poet & Co-founder of San Francisco’s City Lights Books, Dies at 101

HeadlineFeb 24, 2021

Legendary Beat Generation poet, artist and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti has died at the age of 101. Ferlinghetti co-created the country’s first all-paperback bookstore in 1953, the iconic City Lights Books in San Francisco. His 1958 collection, “A Coney Island of the Mind,” remains one of the most popular poetry books in the U.S. Democracy Now! spoke with Ferlinghetti in 2007. He read an excerpt from his book, “Poetry as Insurgent Art.”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: “Be subversive, constantly questioning reality and the status quo. Strive to change the world in such a way that there’s no further need to be a dissident. Read between the lives, and write between the lines. Be committed to something outside yourself. Be passionate about it. But don’t destroy the world, unless you have something better to replace it.”

Click here to see our full interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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