A tribute anthology to Lawrence Ferlinghetti affirming the lasting sacred power of poetry and insurgent art
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021) was a poet, publisher, painter, social activist, and cultural exemplar of broad simultaneous excellence. This tribute volume was authorized by Ferlinghetti shortly before his 100th birthday. He expressed his hope that this book would serve to support the advance of poetry and general artistic literacy. He had previously contributed poems to two of this publisher’s earlier anthologies. In these pages, many exceptionally talented contributors, including poet laureates, other well-established writers and visual artists, and exciting new voices have responded to Ferlinghetti’s example, similarly demonstrating the lasting sacred power of poetry and insurgent art. They are all strongly encouraging you, with great passion, to also be inspired. Poems range from direct tributes by those who have known or interacted in some way with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, to collage poems, riffs, artful imitation, ekphrastic (based on Ferlinghetti paintings), direct response to Ferlinghetti lines, and much more. Each page delights and surprises, revealing the depth of influence Ferlinghetti has had on multiple generations of poets, painters, publishers, and activists. The title of this book, taken from Ferlinghetti’s essay “More Light” in which he describes his motivation, is more than a metaphor. It also matches the way his eyes shimmered and reflected light in a very rare way, as though life itself found a special luminosity in an inclusively humanistic vision. Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s impressive light is here again reflected as in his eyes, spurred by the brilliance of his original works. For readers beginning or continuing their explorations of Ferlinghetti and of poetry, or of art as a creative transformational force, the massive enthusiasm in these pages will open many fruitful doors and windows. Each contributing poet and artist, in connecting with Ferlinghetti’s viewpoint, artistically elopes with it. From this basis, love is expressed on every page.
Bobby Coleman's friendly-yet-incisive editing style is a throwback to Max Perkins, whom he claims to have never met, nor to have even seen the movie. A traditional man of letters who refuses to wear bow ties and round glasses, he is a graduate of Columbia and Stanford, a singer in a touring Leonard Cohen choir, and an influential figure in cultural and political affairs for many decades. His hobbies include nicknaming urban trees and neighborhood cats, riding transit to the end of the line, and visualizing streetscapes prior to their pavement.