Birthday Reading for Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 1:30pm

Lawrence Ferlinghetti will celebrate his 100th birthday on March 24. And so shall we! This poet, artist, founder of City Lights and central figure among the Beats, orphan and D-Day veteran, whose Coney Island of the Mind has sold over a million copies, has written a little novel to be published just days before his birthday. Little Boy is just the news: autobiographical, with almost no punctuation and very few paragraph breaks, yet flows easily and is full of beauty, elegance and profundity. Join us for a reading of Little Boy on Sunday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m, upstairs in the main store, when Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly will be the first reader. Cake & coffee. If you wish to participate in the reading, contact

From the famed publisher and poet, author of the million-copy-selling collection A Coney Island of the Mind, his literary last will and testament -- part autobiography, part summing up, part Beat-inflected torrent of language and feeling, and all magical.

In this unapologetically unclassifiable work Lawrence Ferlinghetti lets loose an exhilarating rush of language to craft what might be termed a closing statement about his highly significant and productive 99 years on this planet. The "Little Boy" of the title is Ferlinghetti himself as a child, shuffled from his overburdened mother to his French aunt to foster childhood with a rich Bronxville family. Service in World War Two (including the D-Day landing), graduate work, and a scholar gypsy's vagabond life in Paris followed. These biographical reminiscences are interweaved with Allen Ginsberg-esque high energy bursts of raw emotion, rumination, reflection, reminiscence and prognostication on what we may face as a species on Planet Earth in the future. Little Boy is a magical font of literary lore with allusions galore, a final repository of hard-earned and durable wisdom, a compositional high wire act without a net (or all that much punctuation) and just a gas and an inspiration to read.

About the Author
Lawrence Ferlinghetti I was born in Yonkers, New York in 1919. Founder of the famed City Lights Booksellers and 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' Robert Kirsch Award, the NBCC's Ivan Sandrof Award, and the ACLU's 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 to the bookstore he founded.

Event address: 

Square Books
160 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655
Little Boy: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - March 19th, 2019