City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology
60th Anniversary Edition
Edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
"The anthology collects a few poems from all sixty books in the series. In just over 300 pages, the volume collects some of the greatest poets from the last century including all of the writers mentioned above. Beginning with [Lawrence] Ferlinghetti's Pictures of the Gone World, and ending with David Meltzer's When I Was A Poet, it is a tour-de-force of both American and international poetry."––
"The 60th Anniversary Edition of City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology is the kind of collection the publisher has produced for years. It keeps the brand alive and necessary, and wow, there are some special treats, like poems by Pablo Picasso. Its old news that Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who edited this, has been looking at art with devastating erudition since the middle of the last century. As anthologist, he has lost none of his edge, and so he gives us a fabulous stew of the familiar, in Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, and other beats mixed in with Marie Ponsot, has earned more attention than she usually receives . . . There is so much more in this blazing gift of a volume that provides another example of the range of the City Lights endeavor. Allen Ginsberg. Gregory Corso. Diane di Prima. Check. Check. Check. Plus imported and domestic surprises. Pocket Poets has always been a project that enabled people to carry fine poems comfortably in their clothes, next to skin, so that this great stream of poetry could seep right in."––Barbara Berman
Toad Suck Review
"San Francisco's City Lights Books began publishing the Pocket Poets Series in 1955. Speaking of his intentions for the series, Lawrence Ferlinghetti writes, "I had in mind rather an international, dissident, insurgent ferment." Consistent with this philosophy, the new 60th Anniversary Edition of the City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology includes not only the familiar names associated with a particular San Francisco literary scene (Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti himself, others), but writing and writers from across the years and oceans. Readers possessing only anecdotal familiarity with City Lights Books will find an unexpected breadth of artistic sensibility within the Anthology, and no doubt several fine poems by previously undiscovered writers. Recommended for established fans of the press and newcomers alike."––Drew Cook
Los Angeles Review of Books
"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
"Open the book anywhere and you will be sure to find an unexpected delicacy that gives rise to political memories, trips to distant places, or spiritual quests … Ferlinghetti has once again given us the opportunity to walk the streets with laughter, satire, ferment, sadness, joy, dissidence, and love tucked in our pockets."––R.I. Sutherland-Cohen
"WORD Bookstores Books of the Week"
Jun 17, 2015
WORD Bookstores recommends the City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology 60th Anniversary Edition.
"The venerable San Francisco publisher/bookseller commemorates six decades of courageous, innovative poetry."
"Interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights"
Jul 2, 2015
Lawrence Ferlinghetti interviewed by Jonah Raskin in his home about the 60th Anniversary of City Lights Publishers, his relationship with Allen Ginsberg, and what he thinks of San Francisco today.
"The heart and the soul of bohemian San Francisco, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has altered the cultural landscape of readers and writers both locally and globally from his perch at City Lights, at 261 Columbus Ave. in North Beach. I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career, a new collection of letters between him and Allen Ginsberg, tracks their friendship and explores the fellowship of poets born at City Lights Bookstore and its publishing arm, City Lights Books.
"Another new book, the 60th anniversary edition of City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, brings together poets from each of the series' 60 volumes, including Jack Kerouac as well as Ferlinghetti himself, who edited the volume and wrote the introduction."––Jonah Raskin
San Francisco Chronicle
"At 96, Poet and Beat Publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti Isn't Done Yet"
Jun 11, 2015
Lawrence Ferlinghetti interviewed and profiled on NPR Books, concentrating on his legacy as a publisher, his book A Coney Island of the Mind, living in San Francisco today, and his new books commemorating City Lights 60th anniversary, City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology 60th Anniversary Edition and the book of selected letters between he and Allen Ginsberg.
"What the customers won't see is Ferlinghetti himself. At 96, he rarely visits the bookstore anymore, but he still lunches regularly with friends and keeps a brisk schedule with visitors. And 2015 is a busy year: He's publishing a 60th anniversary edition of the City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, a collection of poetry packaged to fit into anyone's back pocket or purse; a book of selected correspondence between himself and Allen Ginsberg; and Writing Across the Landscape, a compilation of his travel journals dating back to 1944."
Richard Gonzales, NPR Books
"The Pocket Poet Series Turns 60"
May 8, 2015
An introduction by Michael Lieberman to the Pocket Poet Series and the upcoming Pocket Poets Anthology 60th Anniversary Edition by City Lights, talking about Howl and Other Poems and what the series was intended for at its inception.
May 7, 2015
The Bay Area Reporter rounds-out Independent Bookstore Day with a run-through of books to look for, excerpting two pieces from the City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology 60th Anniversary Edition, Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry and Time Traveler's Potlatch by Philip Lamantia.
The Bay Area Reporter
Times Literary Supplement
"[A] book you can't help but cherish."––James Campbell
"The venerable Beat poet, publisher and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti, still going strong at 96, has assembled an anthology of his own that should be required reading in college literature courses across America … With this Pocket Poets series, Ferlinghetti did nothing less than advance world literature."––Alan Bisbort
"Profit in Pocket"
Apr 17, 2015
A profile of the Pocket Poet Series, and the new 60th Anniversary edition of the City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, in the NB column of the Times Literary Supplement.
"In the world of books, the name City Lights is synonymous with the shop in San Francisco, where it has occupied the same splendid site on Columbus Avenue since 1953. City Lights has a second arm: it is a publisher, which this year celebrates its sixtieth birthday … The most famous of all City Lights publications is the Pocket Poets series. It is numbered and, conveniently enough, runs to sixty. To mark the anniversary, Mr. Ferlinghetti has edited and published—and might even sell over the counter at his own shop—the City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology … The anthology gathers something from each of the sixty books. Some are worth re-reading—[Frank] O'Hara's "Lana Turner Has Collapsed", [Robert] Duncan's "Among My Friends", [Allen] Ginsberg's "Kaddish" … In 1968, Picasso's Hunk of Skin became a Pocket Poets book (translated by Paul Blackburn) … Who cares if it’s junk? It’s Picasso’s junk. Picasso’s junk in your pocket, in a book you can’t help but cherish."––James Campbell
Times Literary Supplement