It All Started With a 'Howl': City Lights Publishers Celebrates 60 Years

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San Francisco poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti turns 100 on March 25. (Adam Grossberg/KQED)

Back in the 1950s, a thin book of poetry sparked a police raid of a San Francisco bookstore and a landmark court trial over selling "obscene" material. That book, "Howl & Other Poems" by Allen Ginsberg, put City Lights Publishers and its owner, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, on the literary map. This year, City Lights Publishers celebrates its 60th anniversary. We look back on its storied history and on its current place in the publishing world.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, at 95 from KQED News on Vimeo.


Elaine Katzenberger, publisher and executive director of City Lights Publishers