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PHOTOS: Lawrence Ferlinghetti Sidewalk Memorial at City Lights Books

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Hannah Forrester reads from a 1974 City Lights Anthology during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Hannah Forrester reads from a 1974 City Lights Anthology during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, a group of about 50 people gathered outside City Lights Books in San Francisco at an impromptu memorial for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who died on Monday at age 101.

The crowd ranged from those close to Ferlinghetti—like Jack Hirschman, one of the famed poet and publisher’s oldest friends—to readers touched by his work. But all shared the impulse to gather and pay tribute to the City Lights founder in Jack Kerouac Alley—outside the bookstore where Ferlinghetti made his home, in the neighborhood and city that he loved.

While readings, anecdotes and testimonials to Ferlinghetti’s indomitable spirit filled the sidewalk and alley, KQED photographer Beth LaBerge captured the scene in photos.

Agneta Falk reads a poem while Jack Hirschman listens during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Agneta Falk reads a poem during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Deborah Drozd writes on a typewriter during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Deborah Drozd writes on a typewriter during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Bobby Coleman speaks during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Bobby Coleman speaks during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
A woman lights a candle at a memorial for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
A woman lights a candle at a memorial for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
A crowd of people listen to speakers during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
A crowd of people listen to speakers during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Patrick Monk speaks during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Patrick Monk speaks during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Flowers, candles and photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti are left outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Flowers, candles and photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti are left outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
A vigil and poetry reading is held outside of City Lights Books in San Francisco for its founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti on Tuesday Feb. 23, 2021, who died on Monday at the age of 101. Friends and fellow poets shared remembrances, read his work and raised their glasses.
A vigil and poetry reading is held outside of City Lights Books in San Francisco for its founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti on Tuesday Feb. 23, 2021, who died on Monday at the age of 101. Friends and fellow poets shared remembrances, read his work and raised their glasses. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Scott Bird (right) during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Scott Bird (right) during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Poet Charlie Getter reads from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's book Coney Island of the Mind during a vigil outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Poet Charlie Getter reads from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s book Coney Island of the Mind during a vigil outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Bottles of beer are raised in the air during a cheers for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Bottles of beer are raised in the air during a cheers for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Friends and fellow poets share remembrances and read poems during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Friends and fellow poets share remembrances and read poems during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his bowler hat in the City Lights Poetry Room on Feb. 23, 2021.
Photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his bowler hat in the City Lights Poetry Room on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Leilani Chun listens to speakers during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Leilani Chun listens to speakers during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Deborah Drozd writes on a typewriter during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Deborah Drozd writes on a typewriter during a vigil for Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
An attendee at the memorial points to a photo of Ferlinghetti in a poetry book outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
An attendee at the memorial points to a photo of Ferlinghetti in a poetry book outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Flowers, candles and photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti are left outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021.
Flowers, candles and photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti are left outside of City Lights Books on Feb. 23, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

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