Poetry, Poetry Criticism & Poetry Biography

Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.



   
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Power Ballads
Garrett Caples
A power ballad was a hair metal band's voyage into the softer side of rock, compromising to the integrity of the genre, but genuine and trailblazing. So too is Caples' Power Ballads. His poems and prose pieces are bizarre and hilarious, in which Dylan and Bowie sit alongside the French surrealists, with the occasional turn into heartfelt...
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Save Twilight: Selected Poems
Pocket Poets Number 53
Julio Cortázar
Newly expanded edition of a classic: the first and only collection of Cortázar's poetry to appear in English.
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Jane
A Murder
Maggie Nelson
Jane tells the spectral story of the life and death of Maggie Nelson's aunt Jane, who was murdered in 1969 while a first-year law student at the University of Michigan. Though officially unsolved, Jane’s murder was apparently the third in a series of seven brutal rape-murders in the area between 1967 and 1969.
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Collected Poems
Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot's Collected Poems is the stunning lifework of the prizewinning poet, gathered in one volume: the world she has made of life’s fire for sixty years. The present celebratory volume covers nearly all of her published work, from True Minds (1956), which was number five in the famous City Lights Pocket Poets series...
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The Little Edges
Fred Moten
The Little Edges is a collection of poems that extends poet Fred Moten's experiments in what he calls "shaped prose"—a way of arranging prose in rhythmic blocks, or sometimes shards, in the interest of audio-visual patterning. Shaped prose is a form that works the "little edges" of lyric and discourse, and radiates out into the space between them.
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Old Angel Midnight
Jack Kerouac
"The only book I've ever written in which I've allowed myself to say absolutely anything I want."—Jack Kerouac
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Afterlives
Poetry
Micah Ballard
AFTERLIVES, or SEVILRETFA as the reversed lettering on the back cover presents it, is the third full-length collection by Micah Ballard. As with recent work, Ballard continues the precarious yet successful envisioning of the spirited haunts of his native Louisiana amidst the streets of his long adopted San Francisco.
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Bukowski in a Sundress
Confessions from a Writing Life
Kim Addonizio
Behold the memoir of sex-positive rebel Kim Addonizio! This book moves from gritty/funny/sexy, to emotionally raw, in swift seamless strokes. By the end, you will feel that Kim is an old friend whom you know far too well, but who you think the world of because she's way cooler than you are. —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Books
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Of Poetry & Protest
From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin
This extraordinary volume collects the poems of forty-four of America's most talented African American wordsmiths, including Pulitzer Prize– winning poets Rita Dove, Natasha Tretheway, Yusef Komunyakaa and Tracy K. Smith, as well as the work of other luminaries such as Elizabeth Alexander, Ishmael Reed, Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez.
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Dated Emcees
Chinaka Hodge
"These are poems to read every day. To make mantras from. They are the best poems you've ever read."––Daveed Diggs, star of Hamilton
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The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest, Hadley Haden Guest
If you're looking for poetry by an avant-garde, modernist woman, you need go further than New York School legend Barbara Guest. From her 1960 debut The Location of Things to her 2005 finale The Red Gaze, this landmark collection places her in the select company of forebears like HD, Mina Loy, and Marianne Moore. —Recommended by Garrett, City Lights
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The Art of Forgetting
Andrei Codrescu
Review "This poetry punk's supreme corruption is The Art of Forgetting. Like genial Borges, Codrescu is unforgettable. Horror of Codrescu is he is fun. Not serious like Putin who kills for fun. Andrei is a word tsar and wonder smith making crooked beauty. Banish him to an African game park. The giraffes will play polo, hippos rock..."
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Out of Print
City Lights Spotlight No. 14
Julien Poirier
New in the City Lights Spotlight Series: Out of Print is a bicoastal surrealistic political poetry extravaganza.
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S O S
Poems 1961-2013
Amiri Baraka
Fusing the personal and the political in high-voltage verse, Amiri Baraka was one of the preeminent literary innovators of the past century. This volume comprises the fullest spectrum of his rousing, revolutionary poems, from his first collection to unpublished pieces composed during his final years.

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