ferlinghetti from red-dipped poet

Several weeks ago during banned books week, I had the opportunity to read from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s book of poems, Coney Island of the Mind.  I read an excerpt from “Autobiography” as part of ABFFE’s, PEN’s and Housing Works’s celebration of Banned Books Week 2013. Paradise Banned: Poetry Readings from Banned Books was held at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe on September 30, 2013.

Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island of the Mind was banned in Colorado’s Aurora High School in 1976 for “immorality.”


My dream (or one of the many that I swim in each day) is to write a banned book or poem. There is no intention of offending when I write, but when I disrobe my syllables, I do aim for some form of stun to occur. Basically, I want humans to feel things.

Tonight, I read alongside some fabulous contemporary poets such as:  Matvei Yankelevich, Timothy Donnelly, Deborah Landau, Alex Dimitrov, Ana Bozicevic among others. We will each be reading some of the best censored and banned poems by Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, Frank O’Hara, Sappho, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and more.

Head on over to Housing Works Bookstore in NYC at 7pm on Monday, September 30th.  Join PEN American Center and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression for readings in celebration of Banned Books Month and the poets whose work have been banned throughout history.

Beer and wine will be served. Free drinks to the first 100 attendees and drink specials after that. Seating begins at 6:30 and readings will begin promptly at 7:00.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby St.