Beatniks

Coney Island of the Mind – Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1958)

1960s: Days of Rage


“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Coney Island of the Mind, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s landmark second volume of poetry. In commemoration, New Directions has recently released a new hardback edition of the book, complete with a CD of the author reading the bulk of its poems, as well as selections from Pictures of the Gone World, his first collection of verse. Such an elaborate republication is highly appropriate–for time has revealed Coney Island of the Mind to be not only a book of great cultural importance, but also a major classic of modern poetry. As a social phenomenon Coney Island of the Mind is truly remarkable. With roughly a million copies in print, few poetry collections come anywhere close to matching its readership. Raw sales, though, only tell part of the story. Along with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl

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