At 96, Poet And Beat Publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti Isn't Done Yet

Jun 17, 2015 734

by Richard Gonzales

Lawrence Ferlinghetti lives in a modest second-story walk-up in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. Hanging on his walls are his doctorate from the Sorbonne, an unframed Paul Gaugin print and posters of celebrated poetry readings dating back to the days when he personified a hip, literate and rebellious San Francisco.

Not that he's nostalgic. "Everything was better than it is when you're old," he says. Sixty years ago, Ferlinghetti, now 96, was the principal publisher of an iconoclastic band of writers and poets known as the Beat Generation. Today, he's still co-owner of City Lights, one of the most celebrated independent book stores in America.

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