© Ilka Hartmann

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers, New York in 1919. Founder of the famed City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, he is an activist, painter, and author of numerous works of poetry, prose, and drama. His A Coney Island of the Mind is one of the bestselling poetry books of all time. Among his many honors are the Los Angeles Times's Robert Kirsch Award, the NBCC's Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, and the ACLU's Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. He is also a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in San Francisco, close by the bookstore he founded.