Ferlinghetti’s one hundredth birthday this weekend – Sunday.
Lawrence, from the City Lights web-site:
“Lawrence Ferlinghetti would like everyone to know that although he won’t be attending any of the various events being planned to honor his 100th birthday, he’s inviting everyone to participate and have a good time: “I’m happy to hear that there are so many people celebrating my birthday. Makes it really special. I figure that with another 100 birthdays that’ll be about enough!”
Sunday, March 24th 1-5pm, the main event in San Francisco:
“..the public is invited to an open house birthday party at City Lights Bookstore with concurrent programming throughout the afternoon at three other North Beach venues: Canessa Gallery (708 Montgomery St, 1-5PM), Café Zoetrope (916 Kearny St, 2-3PM), and Vesuvio’s (255 Columbus Ave, 3-4PM). Free. Following that, from approximately 6PM-on, there will be an after party at Specs (12 William Saroyan Place) presented by Jessica Loos and Elly Simmons with Juan Felipe Herrera, Jerry Cimino, music by La Bolshevita, Stephen Barry, Dorothy Payne, William Taylor, Cara Vida, and Mauro Ffortissimo.
Saturday, the day before, at the Roxie Theater (317 16th Street, Chris Felver screens his documentary Ferlinghetti , preceded by an interview with the filmmaker and Peter Maravelis of City Lights Booksellers.
Meanwhile, simultaneous in New York City, Ferlinghetti celebrations this Sunday – A birthday party and a Little Boy launch (2-8) at Howl! Happening gallery (6 East 1st Street) – featuring Ed Sanders, Hettie Jones, David Henderson, Eileen Myles, Bob Holman, Anne Waldman, Helixx C. Armageddon and others. The afternoon of celebrations will also feature a screening of Chris Felver’s documentary, as well as clips from Bob Holman’s United States of Poetry and the NET documentary USA: Poetry.
On Tuesday March 26th (7pm) – there will be a book release party for The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL with Ronald Collins and David Skover at City Lights.
Little Boy – Don’t miss the extensive review by Tyler Malone in the LA Times – “The book’s publisher rightly calls it an “unapologetically unclassifiable work. It’s at once a novel, a memoir, a poem, a monologue, a psalm, a rant, a scientific treatise, a political address, a last will and testament, a mostly punctuation-free stream of consciousness — a shout into the maw of oblivion, a definitive capstone to a long and storied literary life”….Ferlinghetti’s book is a torrent of textual splendor…Everything (he) has read, written, lived, experienced, thought and understood in his near-hundred-years on this planet has been tossed into the blender of his consciousness. “Little Boy” gives us the opportunity to watch as it all swirls in that blender, the blades slowly bringing all these disparate particles together into a more homogenous flow — everything connected, everything consequential, yet without direct plot or meaning (much like life itself).”
“..a volcanic explosion of personal memories, political rants, social commentary, environmental jeremiads and cultural analysis all tangled together in one breathless sentence that would make James Joyce proud. Do I recommend it? Yes I said yes I will Yes.”
and don’t miss Chloe Veltman’s audio report on Ferlighetti at 100 for KQED (“I have an engine that doesn’t run on petroleum”, he pointedly tells her, and, “Auto-geddan” (petroleum-greed) is sweeping the country and there’s no stopping it” – CV: There’s nothing that can be done? LF: “Well yes, there’s things that could be done but they would be revolutionary and the United States isn’t ready for revolution.” (sic). His advice to the young? – “Duck and run for cover!”) – See also her profile for The Guardian – here
“Ginsberg was jealous of Ferlinghetti’s achievement”, (he writes), ” – the poetry, the bookshop, the publishing house, the political work. He once told me, “I wish I could have done so much.” Ginsberg felt his own energies were too dissipated but didn’t know how to focus them.”.
and his conclusion:
“At the centenary of his birth, there’s no question that Ferlinghetti discovered America, and that his work, as a publisher and a poet, has been an indelible wonder.”
Bill Morgan’s note for Library of America is another must-read piece
“I read the stuff Lester Bangs wrote about me and thought: “Oh no, I’m a buffoon! But wait: I am “a salient blowtorch of nihilism”. Cool! Wait, am I cool or not? I’m not sure!” I have one of his books in hardback. I’ve had it for a long, long time. It’s sitting on the shelf along with The Andy Warhol Diaries, the collected works of Allen Ginsberg, and a few other books. I look at their spines and think: “OK, this is what’s important!”
Yes, that’s what’s important
“Well, while I’m here I’ll /do the work – /and what’s the Work?/To ease the pain of living,/Everything else, drunken/dumbshow” (Allen Ginsberg from “Memory Gardens”)
W.S.Merwin‘s passing last week respectfully noted here. Here‘s his obituary in the New York Times, (and here in the Washington Post). Here’s Dan Chiasson in The New Yorker. Here‘s Merwin at Naropa (from the Naropa Archives, in 1975, reading with John Ashbery)
Merrimack Repertory presents the world premiere of the stage adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s The Haunted Life (opened Wednesday, through to April 14) – see here and here
David S Wills’ World Citizen – Allen Ginsberg As Traveller. Here’s a press-release, and here’s a brief excerpt from it. More to come. David also bravely fronted the Reddit community and answered questions about the book – see here