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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Writing Role Model: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The 1950s Beat Generation of writers—including poets Allen Ginsburg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti—weren’t much on my reading/writing radar while growing up, though my young husband did introduce me in the late 1960s to “A Coney Island of the Mind.” A best seller, the book was published in 1958, and is among Ferlinghetti’s nearly 50 volumes of poetry written over his lifetime.

And if not the Beats in general, Ferlinghetti in particular is now definitely on my radar; at 97, he is embarking on his latest book, “To the Light House”; it “blends autobiography, fiction and surrealist riffs on mortality nature and consciousness. It’s the closest thing to a memoir that he’ll ever write,” Alexandra Alter reports in her recent New York Times article on Ferlinghetti and his 95 year-old publisher Sterling Lord.

I read the article almost a month ago, just as I was deciding to write my second book. I have no illusions about what a slog this will be, especially having been through the process in the mid-2000s. It will take over much of my life—not only writing it, but, as with the first, convincing someone other than myself to publish it.

But as I daily waver at the prospect, I consider Ferlinghetti—97 year-old Ferlinghetti—and know I have no choice but to proceed.

To read Alter’s article, click here:

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