At the age of 88, Ferlinghetti probably hoped the American landscape would appear less familiar, but civil liberties are flagging under the weight of security and artistic dissent is often artfully commodified. Poetry as Insurgent Art is Ferlinghetti's personal response. It is a work-in-progress which includes Populist Manifesto #1 and #2 in their entirety, but is mostly comprised of unpublished single-line musings on the nature of poetry: "A true poem can create a divine stillness in the world" and the duties of the emerging poet: "Whatever a poet says about his work is an apology he shouldn't make." Occasionally the current Commandeur of the French Academy of Arts and Letters falls flat "It is a picture of Ma in her Woolworth bra looking out a window into a secret garden" but one must remember that A Coney Island of the Mind remains the number one best-selling volume of poetry by any living author. This is a man who knows a few things about poetry.
Wed., Oct. 24, 7 p.m., 2007