Poetry’s Rock Star

Feb 25, 2021 373

BY: Fred Kaplan

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who died on Monday at the age of 101, was one of the key figures in 20th century American culture. He was as responsible as any single other person for the rise of the Beats, the end of obscenity laws, and, not least, the transformation of San Francisco from a backwater province to a vibrant artistic center.

He did all this through the creation and flourishing of a bookstore, City Lights—which, seven decades after its founding, in 1953, remains one of the country’s great literary bookstores—and a publishing house as well. The bookstore from its outset was an intellectual hangout for the budding generation of writers, painters, and poets who lived and gathered in San Francisco’s North Beach district.

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SOURCE: https://slate.com

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