City Lights 60th Anniversary celebrations tomorrow. In anticipation of that august occasion, we look back on (and draw your attention to) the four-part series that appeared on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary, in the "local paper", the San Francisco Chronicle.
Among those interviewed or mentioned - Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Shigeyoshi Murao, co-founder Peter Martin, co-owner, Nancy Peters, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, David Meltzer, Joanne Kyger, Diane di Prima, David Amram, Larry Keenan, Robert Creeley, Henri Lenoir, (founder of Vesuvio's), Enrico Banducci, (founder of the hungry i and Enrico's Sidewalk Cafe), Bruce Conner, Peter Coyote, Robert Scheer, Herb Gold, Robert Hass, Daniel Halpern, Andrei Codrescu, Lenore Kandel,Thom Gunn, Elaine Katzenberger (executive director of City Lights), Maxine Hong Kingston.. the list goes on....
The four sections - The first, "The Birth of Cool 1953-1960", a City Lights oral history is here.
The second, "And The Beat Goes On - City Lights and the Counterculture 1961-1974", here. The third, "Literary Mecca - "City Lights Enters The Modern Age 1975-2003", here.
Section four focuses on the proprietor, the lynch-pin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti - "Lawrence Ferlinghetti - A Portrait in Words - The Long Dream of Survival", here.
Ten years on, and neither Lawrence nor the store show any signs of flagging. Au contraire..
Here's a complete list of the classic City Lights Pocket Poets - (including Plutonian Ode, number 40, Mind Breaths, 35, Fall of America, 30. Planet News, 23, Reality Sandwiches, 18, Kaddish, 14, and Howl and Other Poems, 4)