Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Anna Wintour, and a Bunch of Others: Today’s Recommended Reading

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Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today, we’ve got a look at Anna Wintour’s shifting public persona, a look at the several hundred folks who were invited to join the Film Academy, and the long literary friendship between Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his agent, Sterling Lord.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is one of the most important poets of our time, and one of the founding members of the Beats. Sterling Lord, his longtime agent, is one of his best friends and, likewise, one of the most important agents in American literature. The New York Times takes a look at their decades-long friendship, as well as Ferlinghetti’s work on a new, possibly groundbreaking type of memoir.

At his New York agency, Sterling Lord Literistic, Mr. Lord helped initiate the careers of writers like Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes and Ken Kesey, who along with his band of Merry Pranksters elevated LSD use to something resembling performance art. When Kerouac, frustrated after a string of rejections, was ready to give up on publishing his groundbreaking, experimental “On the Road,” Mr. Lord remained resolute. It took him more than four years, but he finally sold it to Viking, for $1,000. Through his small San Francisco publishing house, City Lights, Mr. Ferlinghetti championed the work of Beat Generation writers like Gregory Corso, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder and Ginsberg, renegade poets who were too provocative for most mainstream publishers. “It was a revolution in contemporary poetry,” Mr. Ferlinghetti said. “My way of judging a manuscript was, if I had never read anything like it before, if it articulated a whole new view of reality, then I knew it was important.”

At the Los Angeles Times , Josh Rottenberg discusses the 683 Academy invitations sent out to both rising stars and established talents in the film industry.

A lot more people of color were invited to join the academy. Idris Elba (obviously), America Ferrera, Luis Guzmán, and Michael B. Jordan, just to name a few, were among the many members of color to receive an invitation. With the rightful and necessary push toward proper representation, coupled with the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy is not only doing themselves a favor, but also adding a wide range of talent to their tightly-knit list. This is just a start, but at least it’s in the right direction.

In January, facing blistering criticism over the lack of nominations for any actors of color for the second year in a row, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced sweeping changes aimed at doubling the number of women and minorities — then about 1,500 and 535, respectively — in the academy’s ranks by 2020. “The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Boone Isaacs said in a statement announcing the new initiative. In an interview following Wednesday’s announcement, Boone Isaacs said that the large and diverse class is the result a concerted campaign to show that the academy is opening its arms to groups that have been underrepresented.

On The Ringer, former Flavorwire writer Alison Herman discusses Anna Wintour’s prominent presence in the fashion world, and the way her persona as portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada relates to the media’s portrayal of the icon now.

This piece captures the full image of Wintour — in the best and worst ways — analyzing her different personae, her essence of power, the role she will always play, and the connoisseur she will always be in the fashion world.

This is the Anna Wintour of The September Issue, the R.J. Cutler documentary released three years (and filmed just one, perhaps not coincidentally) post-Prada. Chronicling the run-up to the 2007 edition of its namesake, September is 85 uninterrupted minutes of Getting Shit Done, soundtracked by quotes like “She’s not warm and friendly. She’s doing her business.” At its heart is a constant push-pull between Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington, a self-described romantic in love with the transformative world-building of fashion, if not the practicalities of getting said fashion to the masses. (Coddington left Vogue at the beginning of this year.)

A piece written about an actress’s supposed facial work was removed from this post shortly after publication.