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Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti dies

Date: 25 February 2021 Tags: Obituaries
  • Poet, publisher, and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who helped launch and perpetuate the Beat movement, has died. He was 101.
  • Ferlinghetti was known for his City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, an essential meeting place for the Beats and other bohemians in the 1950s and beyond.
  • Few poets of the past 60 years were so well known or so influential. His books sold more than 1 million copies worldwide, a fantasy for virtually any of his peers, and he ran one of the world's most famous and distinctive bookstores, City Lights.
  • Ferlinghetti also was a playwright, novelist, translator, and painter and had many admirers among musicians. In 1976, he recited The Lord’s Prayer at the Band’s farewell concert, immortalised in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz.
  • The folk-rock band Aztec Two-Step lifted its name from a line in the title poem of Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island book: “A couple of Papish cats/is doing an Aztec two-step.”