Time of Useful Consciousness is a fresh missive from an elderly Beat who has always refused to sit down.


A new call to action and a vivid picture of civilization going right to the brink.

Time of Useful Consciousness

Literature by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

**A limited edition _Time of Useful Consciousness _is also available. **Details are here. ****

New Directions is proud to announce a galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, Ferlinghetti shows more power than most any other poet at work today. He describes his new book, _Time of Useful Consciousness __— _his first since _Poetry as Insurgent Art __— _as “a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people’s poetic history in the tradition of William Carlos Williams’s Paterson, Charles Olson’s Maximus, Allen Ginsberg’s Fall of America, and Ed Sanders’s America: A History in Verse. ’Time of Useful Consciousness’ is an aeronautical term denoting the time between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out, the brief time in which some life-saving action is possible.”

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Clothbound(published Oct, 24 2012)

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Portrait of Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

American writer, publisher, activist, visual artist, and founder of City Lights Books

Time of Useful Consciousness is a fresh missive from an elderly Beat who has always refused to sit down.


Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a national treasure and the kind of poet laureate we really deserve.


Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s engrossing new work, Time of Useful Consciousness, is an ode to modern American myth. At ninety-two, Ferlinghetti has rhythm, he has vision, and he captures the magic energy of Jack Kerouac.

The Coffin Factory

Ferlinghetti refers to Ginsberg as ’the Whitman of our age,’ but Time of Useful Consciousness has that epic, galvanizing, country-hopping voice of a latter-day Good Gray as Ferlinghetti recreates the pioneer spirit of racing west for gold, for freedom, for art, for land, for the hell of it, for life — as well as all the messy stops along the way.

Christopher Bollen, Interview Magzine

In the spirit of Whitman, [Ferlinghetti] unwinds a country in all its speed and vibrancy.

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco’s first poet laureate and its most lyrical town crier.

San Francisco Chronicle

Tenderly lyrical, outrageously irreverent, yet always accessible.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Lawrence is my favorite poet, to warn us of the coming of Big Brother. Lawrence gets you laughing, then hits you with the truth. From D-Day to 911 Lawrence is the poet who asks us why the human race is trying to kill itself.

Francis Ford Coppola

Ferlinghetti’s poems burn through modern America’s absurdities and unrepentant historical revision in a glorious rant against mediocrity, greed, capitalism and boring poetry.

Publishers Weekly