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Lawrence Ferlinghetti Correspondence

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 27 Nov 2013

Biographical History

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919- ) is an American poet, author, painter, publisher and liberal activist. A graduate of Columbia University he also studied at the Sorbonne and in 1953 co-founded City Lights Bookstore and City Lights Publishing in San Francisco. The company became known for publishing avant-garde and Beat Generation poets but later published memoirs, novels and biographies. Authors included Charles Bukowski, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsburg, Denise Levertov, Kenneth Patchen and William Carlos Williams.

Ted Wilentz (1915-2001) was, with his brother Eli, co-owner of Manhattan's Eighth Street Bookshop (1947-1979), popular for decades with New York poets, painters and authors, and co-founder of Corinth Books (1959- ). With more than sixty years experience in bookselling, he also served as a consultant to independent bookstores and was a minority shareholder in Daedalus Books.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lawrence Ferlinghetti Correspondence consists of correspondence from Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Ted and Joan Wilentz. Many of the letters are on City Lights letterhead, and many contain enclosures of printed material including City Lights book catalogs, postcards, and so on.

Arrangement of the Collection



Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

For additional Ferlinghetti correspondence, see the Grove Press Records.

Subject Headings


Ferlinghetti, Lawrence.
Wilentz, Joan Steen.
Wilentz, Ted.

Corporate Bodies

City Lights Books.


Booksellers and bookselling -- California -- San Francisco.
Poets, American.
Publishers and publishing -- California -- San Francisco.


California -- San Francisco -- Intellectual life.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Correspondence,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2013.

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