Today is author, artist and Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 92nd birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a reading of his at 92nd Street Y? This one is from April 2007, when he previewed selections from Poetry as Insurgent Art and was introduced by Marie Ponsot. Upper East Side Informer’s Girl About Town attended and wrote:
In his baseball cap and wire rim glasses—red frames, mind you—Lawrence Ferlinghetti read his poems in a wispy, near whisper of a voice to a sold-out crowd at the Y last night. His adoring fans hooted and hollered as he took to the podium. If you saw him there with his gentle, glowing eyes and ways you’d have been hooting, too.
Ah, a living poet. There was just something in the way the first poet laureate out of San Francisco moved about the stage. He carried his poems in a large manila envelope. And when it grew time to read, he pulled out the sheets of paper and held them near to his eyes. He ruffled them for a while. Waited on a pregnant pause or two. And, read. His poems were funny. And, political.
In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to these recordings, please click here. To look at the rest of the season’s live readings, please click here.
Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
You can also download the MP3. [20 MB]
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