Poetry & Poetry Criticism

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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This Is Not a Skyscraper
Dean Kostos
This Is Not a Skyscraper examines New York City through a surrealist lens. Like the title of Magritte's painting, "This is not a pipe," these poems question perceptions of the metropolis. While NYC entices talents that swarm its stages, museums, runways, and readings, throngs of outsiders live on the city's margins, silenced.
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Fever Water
Darius James
"Fever Water" is a limited edition artist's book of one hundred and fifty numbered copies created by San Francisco based visual artist Tân Khánh Cao in collaboration with author Darius James. Its pages are printed on acid free one hundred percent cotton paper and vellum with archival ink and hand bound. Its melding of text and graphics...
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Dark Sparkler
Amber Tamblyn
The lives of more than twenty-five actresses lost before their time—from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy—explored in a haunting, provocative new work by an acclaimed poet and actress. Amber Tamblyn is both an award-winning film and television actress and an acclaimed poet. As such she is deeply fascinated—and intimately familiar—with the...
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Where Was I?
Stephen Kessler
In these hybrid writings—a mixture of memoir, prose poetry, personal essay, travel journal, and spiritual meditation—Stephen Kessler synthesizes a lifetime of experiences in language of extraordinary concentration, vividness, and lyricism. The stories he tells and the visions he evokes of places and people he has known could be anyone's...
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Women in Public
City Lights Spotlight No. 13
Elaine Kahn
City Lights Spotlight No. 13: Women in Public dismantles and reassembles the humor, absurdity, and often terror that inform our interactions with gender, sexuality, and amorous consumption.
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Two-Way Mirror
A Poetry Notebook
David Meltzer
A classic book of poetics by a major Beat Generation poet, published in a beautiful casebound gift edition. "One of the great post-World War II San Francisco poets and musicians."–Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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On Time
Poems 2005 - 2014
Joanne Kyger
On Time contains poem that speak like smoke rings drifting through a Bolinas afternoon. I can say with certainty that she is one of best poets writing in English today, and we are lucky to be alive to read her thought-nerves doing what they do best in a mundane and profound and ever-changing world. —Recommended by Jackson, City Lights Books
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Black Sparrow New Year's Greeting Bundle
Charles Bukowski
A special three-pack of rare chapbooks made by Black Sparrow Press featuring poetry from Charles Bukowski.
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"Literchoor Is My Beat"
A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions
Ian S. MacNiven
A biography—thoughtful and playful—of the man who founded New Directions and transformed American publishing. James Laughlin—a poet, publisher, world-class skier—was the man behind some of the most daring, revolutionary works in verse and prose of the twentieth century.
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Deep Code
City Lights Spotlight No. 12
John Coletti
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 12: Deep Code explores "side language," as a subset of other languages, whether slang or metaphor, to both communicate and obfuscate.
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The Poetry Deal
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 5
Diane di Prima
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 5: The Poetry Deal is the first full-length collection of poems in decades from legendary feminist Beat poet, Diane di Prima. "A prolific writer generally associated with the Beat Generation, di Prima deserves wider recognition."—Library Journal
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Expect Delays
Poems
Bill Berkson
"A serene master of syntactical sleight and transformer of the mundane into the marvelous."—Publishers Weekly Wide-ranging and experimental, Expect Delays confronts past and present with rare equilibrium, eyeballing mortality while appreciating the richness and surprise, as well as the inevitable griefs, inherent in the time allowed.
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The Collected Poems of James Laughlin
James Laughlin, Peter Glassgold
Finally collected are all the poems of James Laughlin — a classic poet of Catullan sensibility hiding in plain sight as an avant-garde publisher and the "Godfather of Modernism"

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