Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, publisher, activist, and painter will turn 100 on March 24. To celebrate that significant milestone in a long and varied life, Ferlinghetti's famous San Francisco bookshop City Lights will be hosting a birthday party open to the public.
Everyone is welcome at City Lights (261 Columbus Avenue) between 1:00 and 5:00 on Sunday, March 24, to honor the life of Ferlinghetti, who is perhaps best known for first publishing Alan Ginsburg's classic Beat poem Howl in 1956. Ferlinghetti was subsequently arrested for that act, which in turn led to a lengthy trial around the First Amendment.
City Lights, which was co-founded by Ferlinghetti in 1953, will host a variety of Bay Area writers and artists at the birthday celebration who will read selections from Ferlinghetti's poetry. Photos and video screenings from his life will also be on display during what the mayor of San Francisco has officially declared to be "Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day."
Nearby institutions will also be hosting related events. Here is a complete calendar:
Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 100th birthday party: 1-5 p.m. March 24. City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F. www.citylights.com
"Little Boy" book release party: 7 p.m. March 21. Free. City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F. www.citylights.com
"Ferlinghetti in Photographs": On view March 1-28. Free. Canessa Gallery, 708 Montgomery St., S.F. canessa.org
"Lawrence Ferlinghetti: A Life in Poetry": A documentary by Giada Diano, plus fine-press limited letterpress Ferlinghetti books produced by Arion Press on view March 24. Free. Canessa Gallery, 708 Montgomery St., S.F. canessa.org
"Lawrence Ferlinghetti: 100 Years Without a Net": A solo show of his paintings on view March 2-April 7. Free. Rena Branstein Gallery, 1275 Minnesota St., S.F. renabranstengallery.com
A celebration of Ferlinghetti's life: Featuring Aggie Falk, Jack Hirschman, Devorah Major, Alejandro Murgia, Dean Rader, Kim Shuck and others. 1 p.m. March 17. Free. San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F. sfpl.org
"Ferlinghetti": A documentary by Chris Felver. 1:30-3:30 p.m. March 23. $13. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F. roxie.com
[Image from Wikipedia. Photo taken by voxtheory]