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13 December 2006

Ferlinghetti gets down about SF's 1950s North Beach (where you can still catch him and his) - Café Trieste

excerpted from -
SFGate, 13 Nov '06

A free-speech landmark -- 50th anniversary of 'Howl'
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

. . .

The Importance of Being Rexroth

When I arrived overland by train in January 1951, it didn't take me long to discover that in Italian, bohemian North Beach, I had fallen into a burning bed of anarchism, pacifism and a wide open, nonacademic poetry scene, provincial but liberating. There were two or three anarchist poetry magazines spasmodically published, but the central literary, political force in all this was the poet and polymath, Kenneth Rexroth, who was active in the Anarchist Circle, waxed wroth regularly on KPFA-FM, and held Friday night soirées in his flat filled with apple-box bookshelves loaded with books he reviewed on every subject from anarchism to xenophobia.

The Beat poets, joining this San Francisco scene in the 1950s, furthered the postwar cultural synthesis, and "Howl" became the catalyst in a paradigm shift in American poetry and consciousness.

. . . read more Ferlinghetti clicking the highlighted subtitle linked to SFGate article

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