Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lawrence Ferlinghetti in Cardiff

Lawrence Ferlinghetti co-founded City Lights bookstore in San Francisco in 1953. Such has been its subsequent success that it is certainly a candidate for the title of most famous bookshop in the world. Two years after its inception Ferlinghetti set up the publishing arm of the operation. City Lights is particularly famous for having put out work by the Beat generation of writers. Literature by Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, amongst many others, has been championed by City Lights. Ferlinghetti has also published his own poetry. A Coney Island of the Mind (1958) is said to have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He is also remembered for reciting a poem at The Band's last performance, which was filmed by Martin Scorsese. Ferlinghetti is still going strong today, aged 91. Back in 1988 the Beat guru showed up at the Oriel bookshop in Cardiff, where he was promoting his novel, Love in the Days of Rage. This splendid picture taken by poet John Gimblett records that momentous visit.

*The above photograph is the exclusive copyright of writer John Gimblett. John's latest book, Monkey, is published by Cinnamon Press and is on sale now.