A Coney Island of the Mind

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A Coney Island of the Mind
First edition and current cover
AuthorLawrence Ferlinghetti
Cover artistRudolphe de Harak/Bettman Archive
Published1958 (New Directions)

A Coney Island of the Mind is a collection of poetry by Lawrence Ferlinghetti originally published in 1958. It contains some of Ferlinghetti's most famous poems, such as “I Am Waiting” and “Junkman's Obbligato”, which were created for jazz accompaniment. There are approximately a million copies in print of A Coney Island, and the book has been translated into over a dozen languages.[1] It remains one of the best-selling and most popular books of poetry ever published. Because some of the material had been previously published, the first edition of Coney Island bears both a 1955 and a 1958 copyright.

Coney Island was written in the conservative post-war 1950s, and the poems “resonate … with a joyful anti-establishment fervor”.[2]

In 1967, a presentation of A Coney Island of the Mind was broadcast on NBC Experiment in Television.[3]

In 2008, New Directions published a Special 50th Anniversary Edition with a CD of the author reading his work.


  1. ^ "Revisiting Coney Island of the Mind". The Guardian. 2008-08-19.
  2. ^ "A Coney Island of the Mind, 50th Anniversary Edition (with CD)". Citylights.com. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  3. ^ "NBC Experiment in Television". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved 24 March 2020.

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