Ferlinghetti, Lawrence, 1919-2021Variant names
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was an American poet and publisher, most closely associated with the Beat movement. Born in New York, Ferlinghetti suffered several family-related tragedies in his youth, and was raised in unusual circumstances. Educated at the University of North Carolina, he served in World War II, and continued his education at Columbia and The Sorbonne. He moved to San Francisco, where he co-founded City Lights book store and publishing house, which became integral with the Beat movement. Ferlinghetti became known for his poetry, which often featured contemporary social and political themes, written in an instinctive meter designed to be accessible to the layman. He also wrote novels and drama, and was an accomplished painter. As the publisher of Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Ferlinghetti won a groundbreaking legal case when copies of the book were impounded as obscene.
From the description of Lawrence Ferlinghetti postal card and rejection notice, 1960. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 123899186
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born March 24, 1919 in Yonkers, N.Y. He was educated in Germany, New York, North Carolina, and France. After serving during World War II he obtained his Ph.D in creative writing at the Sorbonne, University of Paris. While in Paris he met other beat generation writers such as Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. Ferlinghetti was in tune to the political climate of the times and he became a central figure in the San Francisco area artistic community. He lived in Oakland, California and opened the City of Lights Pocket Bookshop in 1953, selling magazines and newspapers with a political emphasis. He participated in the printing of Beatitude, a political magazine, and wrote novels and books of poetry.
From the description of Manuscript, 1962. (University of New Mexico-Main Campus). WorldCat record id: 41171563
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, American poet, editor, and publisher, was born in March of 1919 in Yonkers, N.Y., the son of Charles S. and Clemence Ferling. From 1920 to 1924, he lived in France with his aunt, and after their return to the U.S., was educated in New York, at the Riverside Country School (1927-28) and Bronxville Public School (1929-33). Ferlinghetti attended high school at Mount Hermon School in Greenfield, Mass. (1933-37), then received a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1941, his M.A. in Literature from Columbia University in 1948, and his Doctorat de l'Université from The Sorbonne, Paris in 1949. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1941 to 1945, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Ferlinghetti married Selden Kirby-Smith in 1951, and has two children, Julie and Lorenzo.
Ferlinghetti moved to San Francisco in the early 1950s, and in 1953, after a short period as a French literature teacher, he founded City Lights Books with Peter L. Martin. In 1955, City Lights Publishing initiated the Pocket Poets Series with a collection of Ferlinghetti's own poems, Pictures of the Gone World. This was followed by publication of works by Kenneth Patchen, Kenneth Rexroth, and in 1957, Allen Ginsberg's Howl. City Lights' distribution of this controversial work provoked an obscenity trial which attracted international attention. In his struggle against censorship, Ferlinghetti became a public figure representing the San Francisco literary renaissance and the Beat Poet's movement.
Throughout his career Ferlinghetti has championed the avant-garde, opting for social engagement and literary experimentation in both his own work and that of the authors he publishes. His own poetry reflects the raw, uninhibited style common to the Beat generation. Ferlinghetti's best-known volume is A Coney Island of the Mind (New Directions, 1958); other poetry collections include Starting from San Francisco (1961), The Secret Meaning of Things (1969), Open Eye, Open Heart (1973), Landscapes of Living and Dying (1979), Endless life: The Selected Poems (1981), Over all the Obscene Boundaries (1984), and These are My Rivers (1995).
Ferlinghetti is also the author of two novels, Her (1960) and Love in the Days of Rage (1988), as well as two collections of experimental theater pieces. His interest in oral poetry has made him a favorite of audiences world-wide; several examples of his public readings and jazz/poetry collaborations are available commercially. A lifelong interest in painting in recent years has led to gallery showings of his works and the publication of a collection of drawings, Leaves of Life: Fifty Drawings from the Model (1984). In 1988, Ferlinghetti, in collaboration with Nancy J. Peters, published Literary San Francisco: A Pictorial History from the Beginning to the Present.
In the Dictionary of Literary Biography, biographer Larry Smith sums up Ferlinghetti's achievements: "as a poet and publisher, as a catalyst for cultural and literary innovation for several generations, [Ferlinghetti] is one of the key forces of contemporary writing. He extends the significance of the Beat perspective by the engaged stance of his life and work and by the powerful and popular art he has wrought."
From the guide to the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Papers, 1919-2003, (The Bancroft Library)
Born March 24, 1919 in Yonkers, N.Y., poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti had a very unstable childhood. His immigrant father died when Lawrence was two years old, and his mothers chronic bad health forced her to abandon him at age six. He was adopted by his mothers uncle and his wife, Ludovic and Emily Monsanto. Emily separated from Ludovic, taking Ferlinghetti with her to her family in Alsace, Strasbourg, Germany. There he learned French before he could speak English, and was educated in the classics and literature. When the Monsantos divorced, Emily returned to New York for monetary reasons, becoming a housekeeper for a family called Bislands. Eventually Emily quit her employment and deserted Ferlinghetti, leaving the Bislands to raise him. The Bislands sent him to private school and later, using the name Larry Farling, he attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he received a B.A. in Creative Writing in 1941. He enlisted in the Navy during WWII, was promoted to Lt. Commander, and took part in the D-Day invasion. He was at Nagasaki after the United States dropped the atomic bomb. Participating in war and seeing the aftermath of the bombing sharpened his political viewpoint. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he received an M.A. at Columbia University in 1948, then went to Paris, France where he obtained his Ph.D. in Creative Writing at Sorbonne, University of Paris. In Paris he met other beat generation writers such as Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac and, Allen Ginsberg.
Ferlinghetti was in tune to the political climate of the times and he became a central figure in the San Francisco area artistic community. He lived in Oakland, California and opened the City of Lights Pocket Bookshop in 1953, selling magazines and newspapers with a political emphasis. He participated in the printing of Beatitude, a political magazine, and wrote novels and books of poetry including Coney Island of the Mind , published in 1958, Starting From San Francisco , 1961, and Her , 1965.
From the guide to the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Manuscript, 1962, (The University of New Mexico, University Libraries, Center for Southwest Research)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born on 24 March 1919, in Yonkers, NY, the youngest of five sons of Charles S. (an auctioneer) and Clemence (Mendes Monsanto). His father, an Italian immigrant, had shortened the family name upon arrival in America . Lawrence restored the family name in 1954. He attended the University of North Carolina (A.B., 1941), Columbia University (M.A., 1947) and Sorbonne, University of Paris (Doctorat de l'Universite with honors, 1949). He served with the U.S. Naval Reserve (1941-45) rising to lieutenant commander and was a commanding officer during the Normandy invasion. Known for his novels, short stories, plays, screenplays and poetry, Ferlinghetti has been awarded the National Book Award nomination (1970, for The Secret Meaning of Things), Notable Book of 1979 citation (Library Journal, 1980, for Landscapes of Living & Dying), Silver Medal for poetry (Commonwealth Club of California, 1986, for Over All the Obscene Boundaries), poetry prize, (City of Rome, 1993), San Francisco> street named in his honor (1994) and named first Poet Laureate of San Francisco (1998).
Throughout his career he has been a poet, playwright, editor, and painter; worked for Time, New York City, post-World War II; taught French in a adult education program, San Francisco, CA, 1951-52; City Lights Pocket Bookshop (now City Lights Books ), San Francisco, co-owner, 1953—, founder and editor of City Lights Books (publisher), 1955—. He has participated in numerous national and international literary conferences, art exhibitions, and poetry readings.
Published Works: Writings by the Author (Translator) Jacques Prevert , Selections from Paroles , City Lights , 1958 . Her (novel), New Directions , 1960 . edited by J. W. Ehrlich Howl of the Censor (trial proceedings) , Nourse Publishing , 1961 . (With Jack Spicer ) Dear Ferlinghetti , White Rabbit Press , 1962 . The Mexican Night: Travel Journal , New Directions , 1970 . A World Awash with Fascism and Fear , Cranium Press , 1971 . A Political Pamphlet , Anarchist Resistance Press , 1976 . Northwest Ecolog , City Lights , 1978 . (With Nancy J. Peters ) Literary San Francisco: A Pictorial History from the Beginning to the Present , Harper , 1980 . The Populist Manifestos (includes “First Populist Manifesto”), Grey Fox Press , 1983 . Seven Days in Nicaragua Libre City Lights ,(journal) 1985 . Leaves of Life: Fifty Drawings from the Model , City Lights , 1985 . (Translator with others) Nicanor Parra, Antipoems: New & Selected , New Directions , 1985 . (Translator with Francesca Valente ) Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roman Poems , City Lights , 1986 . Love in the Days of Rage (novel) Dutton , 1988 . (With Alexis Lykiard ) The Cool Eye: Lawrence Ferlinghetti Talks to Alexis Lykiard , Stride , 1993 . Gibbs Smith (With Christopher Felver ) Ferlinghetti: Portrait , 1998 . Poetry Pictures of the Gone World , City Lights , 1955 , enlarged edition, 1995 . Tentative Description of a Dinner Given to Promote the Impeachment of President Eisenhower , Golden Mountain Press , 1958 . A Coney Island of the Mind , New Directions , 1958 . Berlin , Golden Mountain Press , 1961 . One Thousand Fearful Words for Fidel Castro , City Lights , 1961 . Starting from San Francisco, with recording of poems , New Directions , 1961 , revised edition without recording, 1967 . (With Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg ) Penguin Modern Poets 5 , Penguin , 1963 . Thoughts of a Concerto of Telemann , Four Seasons Foundation , 1963 . Where Is Vietnam? , City Lights , 1965 . To F— Is to Love Again, Kyrie Eleison Kerista; or, The Situation in the West, Followed by a Holy Proposal , F— You Press , 1965 . Christ Climbed Down , Syracuse University , 1965 . MacGibbon & Kee , An Eye On the World: Selected Poems , 1967 . Moscow in the Wilderness ,Segovia in the Snow, Beach Books , 1967 . After the Cries of the Birds , Dave Haselwood Books , 1967 . Fuclock , Fire Publications , 1968 . Reverie Smoking Grass , East 128 , 1968 . The Secret Meaning of Things , New Directions , 1969 . Tyrannus Nix? , New Directions , 1969 . Back Roads to Far Places , New Directions , 1971 . Love Is No Stone on the Moon , ARIF Press , 1971 . The Illustrated Wilfred Funk , City Lights , 1971 . Open Eye, Open Heart , New Directions , 1973 . Director of Alienation: A Poem , Main Street , 1976 . Who Are We Now? (also see below), City Lights , 1976 . Landscapes of Living and Dying (also see below), New Directions , 1979 . Mule Mountain Dreams , Bisbee Press Collective , 1980 . A Trip to Italy and France , New Directions , 1980 . Endless Life: Selected Poems (includes “Endless Life”), New Directions , 1984 . Over All the Obscene Boundaries: European Poems and Transitions , New Directions , 1985 . Inside the Trojan Horse , Lexikos , 1987 . Wild Dreams of a New Beginning: Including “Landscapes of Living & Dying” and “Who Are We Now?” , New Directions , 1988 . When I Look at Pictures , Peregrine Smith Books , 1990 . These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993 , New Directions (New York City) , 1993 . A Far Rockaway of the Heart , New Directions , 1997 . Plays Unfair Arguments with Existence: Seven Plays for a New Theatre (contains The Soldiers of No Country [produced in London , 1969 ], Three Thousand Red Ants [produced in New York City , 1970 ; also see below], The Alligation [produced in San Francisco , 1962 ; also see below], The Victims of Amnesia [produced in New York City , 1970 ; also see below], Motherlode, The Customs Collector in Baggy Pants [produced in New York City , 1964 ], and The Nose of Sisyphus ), New Directions , 1963 . Routines (contains thirteen short plays, including The Jig Is Up, His Head, Ha-Ha, and Non-Objection), New Directions , 1964 . 3 by Ferlinghetti: Three Thousand Red Ants, The Alligation, [and] The Victims of Amnesia ,produced in New York City , 1970 . Editor Beatitude Anthology , City Lights , 1960 . Pablo Picasso, Hunk of Skin , City Lights , 1969 . Charles Upton, Panic Grass , City Lights , 1969 . City Lights Anthology , City Lights , 1974, 1995 . City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology , City Lights , 1995 . Recordings (With Kenneth Rexroth ) Poetry Readings in “The Cellar,” Fantasy , 1958 . Tentative Description of a Dinner to Impeach President Eisenhower, and Other Poems , Fantasy, 1959 . Tyrannus Nix? and Assassination Raga , Fantasy, 1971 . (With Corso and Ginsberg ) The World's Greatest Poets 1 CMS , 1971 .
From the guide to the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Papers., ca. 1963., (Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center .)
As did other members of the Beat generation, Ferlinghetti and his fellow poets rejected the values of Middle America. They searched their souls, found alternate ways of experiencing and relating to the world around them, and through their writing, attempted to return poetry back to the masses.
Common beliefs held by members of this group were: an opposition to violence in both art and life, a concern for the development of the whole man, and the idea that love provides meaning in life. These beliefs played an important role in the shaping of the counter culture, which appeared in the 1960s, represented by the Hippie movement. Ferglinghetti believed that through the establishment of his bookstore in 1953, City Lights Pocket Bookshop (now called City Lights Books; the first all paper-bound bookstore in the country), he established a cultural center that linked the Beats of the fifties to the Hippies of the sixties.
Born on March 24, 1919 or 1920, probably in Yonkers, N.Y., perhaps in the Virgin Islands or in Paris, France, Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the fifth and last son of Clemence (Monsanto) and Charles S. Ferlinghetti. His father, an Italian auctioneer, arrived without papers in this country from Lombardy around the turn of the century. Ferlinghetti’s father shortened the family name to Ferling and it remained that way until 1954 when Lawrence restored the name to its original form.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti did not know his parents because his father died suddenly before his birth and his mother was enclosed in an asylum shortly after she gave birth to him. A French aunt (Emily Monsanto) took Lawrence Ferlinghetti to France while still a baby. He remained there for an unknown number of years.
He eventually returned to the United States where he received a B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina, an M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1948 and a Doctorate de l’ Universite from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1951. During April of that year he married Kirby Selden Smith. They had two children – Julie and Lorenzo.
Ferlinghetti is noted for the establishment of his bookstore, publishing the Pocket poet Series, and his poetry. During his career, he has served as editor for all City Lights books; written numerous poems, broadsides, and novels; made a film; recorded readings of his poetry; and contributes to numerous books and journals.
Contemporary Authors: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Authors and Their Works, pp. 373-375.
Meltzer and Shoemaker. Bibliography from taped interview. Ferlinghetti Collection papers? , DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
From the guide to the Lawrence Ferlinghetti papers Mss 0013c., 1967-1972, (DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)
|associatedWith||Aldan, Daisy, 1923-||person|
|associatedWith||Alegr? a, Fernando, 1918-||person|
|associatedWith||Alegría, Fernando, 1918-2005.||person|
|associatedWith||Allen, Donald, 1912-2004.||person|
|associatedWith||Angel Hair Books (New York, N.Y.).||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Angulo, Gui de.||person|
|associatedWith||Auster, Paul, 1947-||person|
|correspondedWith||Beam, Jeffery, 1953-||person|
|associatedWith||Bergé, Carol, 1928-||person|
|associatedWith||Bergé, Carol, 1928-2006.||person|
|associatedWith||Bowles, Paul, 1910-||person|
|associatedWith||Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999.||person|
|associatedWith||Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992||person|
|associatedWith||Bridson, D. G. 1910-||person|
|associatedWith||Brossard, Chandler, 1922-1993||person|
|associatedWith||Brown, William D., 1918-||person|
|associatedWith||Burns, Kristine Helen.||person|
|associatedWith||Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997||person|
|associatedWith||City Lights Books||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||City Lights Booksellers and Publishers.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Combs, Tram, 1924-||person|
|associatedWith||Communist Party of the United States of America.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Cook, Ralph T.||person|
|associatedWith||Cope, David, 1948-.||person|
|associatedWith||Corso, Gregory, 1930- .||person|
|correspondedWith||Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005.||person|
|correspondedWith||Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962||person|
|associatedWith||Dana, Robert, 1929-2010.||person|
|correspondedWith||Degnan, June Oppen||person|
|associatedWith||Degnan, June Oppen.||person|
|associatedWith||Deutsch, Babette, 1895-1982,||person|
|associatedWith||Di Prima, Diane, Archives||person|
|associatedWith||Eisenlord, William J.||person|
|associatedWith||Felver, Christopher, 1946-||person|
|associatedWith||First Poems of American Poets.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Free Library of Philadelphia.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Gascoyne, David Emery, 1916-2001||person|
|associatedWith||Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997||person|
|associatedWith||Green, Mark L., 1932-2004.||person|
|associatedWith||Harris, Marguerite, Archives||person|
|associatedWith||Hedley, Leslie Woolf, 1918-||person|
|associatedWith||Henderson, Scott, 1956-||person|
|associatedWith||Hiebel, Hans, 1941-||person|
|associatedWith||Hirschman, Jack, 1933-||person|
|correspondedWith||Inman, Will, 1923-||person|
|associatedWith||Jackson, Joseph Henry, 1894-1955.||person|
|associatedWith||J.B. Lippincott Company,||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Judson Memorial Church (New York, N.Y.).||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969||person|
|associatedWith||Kinter, William Lewis, 1915-||person|
|associatedWith||Kinter, William L. (William Lewis), 1915-||person|
|associatedWith||Koch, Peter Rutledge.||person|
|associatedWith||Kramer, Aaron, 1921-||person|
|correspondedWith||Kramer, Aaron, 1921-||person|
|associatedWith||Kruh, Hillary, 1961-||person|
|associatedWith||Lamantia, Philip, 1927-2005.||person|
|associatedWith||Laughlin, James, 1914-1997,||person|
|correspondedWith||Levy, Stella Dallas||person|
|correspondedWith||Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976.||person|
|associatedWith||McHugh, Vincent, 1904-1983,||person|
|associatedWith||McLellan, Francis R., fl. 20th cent.||person|
|associatedWith||Miles, Barry, 1943-||person|
|associatedWith||Miller, Charles H. (Charles Henry)||person|
|associatedWith||Modern Poetry Association||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Morgan, Bill, 1949-||person|
|associatedWith||Musto, John, 1954-||person|
|associatedWith||New Directions Incorporated,||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||New Directions Publishing Corp.||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||New Yorker Magazine, Inc||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Nicoletta, Daniel, 1954-||person|
|associatedWith||Ogar, Richard, 1941-||person|
|associatedWith||Online Archive of California.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Origin (Boston, Mass.).||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Owen D. Young Library. Special Collections.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972||person|
|associatedWith||Patchen, Kenneth Papers.||person|
|correspondedWith||Paterson, John, 1923-,||person|
|associatedWith||Peters, Robert, 1924-||person|
|associatedWith||Ralph B. Sipper Books.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Red Ozier Press||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Rexroth, Kenneth, 1905-1982||person|
|associatedWith||Rosenthal, Irving, 1930-||person|
|associatedWith||Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931-||person|
|associatedWith||Savage, Stephen M.||person|
|associatedWith||Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616||person|
|associatedWith||Sherick, Michael J.||person|
|associatedWith||Shumlin, Herman, 1898-||person|
|associatedWith||Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-1991.||person|
|associatedWith||Smith, Hassel, 1915-||person|
|associatedWith||The Conference on Literature and Urban Experience (CLUE), Rutgers University Newark||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Tyler, Hamilton, A.||person|
|associatedWith||U.S. Atomic Energy Commission,||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Vidal, Gore, 1925-||person|
|associatedWith||Waldman, Anne, 1945-.||person|
|associatedWith||Winn, Ruth E. (Ruth Ellen)||person|
|associatedWith||Woods, Eddie, 1940-||person|
|associatedWith||Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978||person|
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|Publishers and publishing|
|Authors and publishers|
|Male authors, American|
|Social problems in art|