Maxine Hong Kingston on Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been in my life, and I’ve been in his, on three important occasions. We met at a party warm with aloha when he read his poetry in Hawai’i. The people who know mele received him as kapuna. Next, we worked on posters for a peace march against Desert Storm. His posters are works of art. Then, surrounded by his paintings, I was among the crowd who witnessed the Italian Consulate honor him. He accepted that arts award speaking in flowing Italian. I have but one criticism of Lawrence, and that is about his book, Literary San Francisco. In it, he says that I don’t hang out, I don’t make the North Beach scene. You’ve given me so many riches, Lawrence, I forgive you for not seeing me as a cool cat like you.