Lawrence Ferlinghetti — poet and publisher and bookseller, one of my creative heroes — turns one hundred years old today.
To celebrate, he’s releasing a new book, Little Boy, and City Lights — the iconic San Francisco bookstore he opened, back in 1953 — is throwing a birthday party for the public.
I wish I could be there to celebrate, but since I can’t, I made and mailed him this drawing.
If you need some Ferlinghetti to read, to help celebrate the big day, let me recommend his fantastic little book, Poetry As Insurgent Art, which he published at the age of 88. t’s small enough to fit into your back pocket and is rewards frequent returns. Or of course his first book, from 1958, A Coney Island of the Mind. (If you’ve never read it, the poems numbered 11 and 15 (“The world is a beautiful place…” and “Constantly risking absurdity”) are great and obvious starting points — also “I am Waiting” and “Dog.” I look forward to picking up Little Boy this week.
So happy birthday, Ferlinghetti, and thanks.