Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights (after Harry Redl), 2017, Ink and Watercolor on Dura-lar, poster 68” x 48”

City Lights Books published Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl,” which revolutionized American poetry, and lead to publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 1956 arrest on obscenity charges. The “Howl” trial and its landmark verdict was a triumph for freedom of speech, and brought San Francisco to national prominence as a hub of avant-garde culture.

“Poetry can change the world, just like any art can change the world, by changing consciousness.” –Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Courtesy Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz [Kenneth Patchen Papers]; Violet Redl/Harry Redl Estate; Lawrence Ferlinghetti