A comprehensive selection from Ferlinghetti's famed City Lights Pocket Poets Series, published on the 60th anniversary of its founding.
"Printer's ink is the greater explosive."—Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti founded the City Lights publishing house sixty years ago in 1955, launching the press with his now legendary Pocket Poets Series. First in the series was Pictures of the Gone World—and within a year, he had brought out two more volumes, translations by Kenneth Rexroth and then, poems by Kenneth Patchen. But it was the success and scandal of Number Four, Howl & Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg (1956), that put City Lights on the map, positioning the Pocket Poets Series at the forefront of the literary counterculture.
A landmark sixtieth retrospective celebrating 60 years of publishing and cultural history, this edition provides an invaluable distillation of the energetic, iconoclastic and still fresh body of work represented in the ongoing series. Ferlinghetti has selected a handful of poems from each of the sixty volumes, including the work of Ginsberg, Kerouac, Corso, Pasolini, Voznesensky, Prévert, Mayakovsky, Cortázar, O'Hara, Ponsot, Levertov, di Prima, Duncan, Lamantia, Lowry, and more, all of the Pocket Poets Series' innovative, influential, and often ground-breaking American and international poets.
Praise for City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology:
"The true marvel of the City Light Pocket Poets Anthology is its reappearance in its 60th year. That represents a venerable tradition (and a long run) for an avant-garde that often mutates too quickly for continuity … just as Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems became the best-selling poetry book of a generation, Ferlinghetti’s own A Coney Island of the Mind, with its insouciant bravado and cheer, has passed the million sales mark. That’s a rare occurrence in these United States. So is the Pocket Poets Series."––John Tytell
“[A] book you can’t help but cherish.”––James Campbell, Times Literary Supplement
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and founder of City Lights Books, author of A Coney Island of the Mind and Pictures of the Gone World, among numerous other books, has been drawing from life since his student days in Paris where he frequented the Academie Julien and where he did his first oil painting.