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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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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Mortal Trash
Poems
Kim Addonizio
Chew with your mouth closed and read this book. —Recommended by Ryan
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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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Out of Print
City Lights Spotlight No. 14
Julien Poirier
Out of Print is a bicoastal surrealistic political poetry extravaganza.
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Music for Mussolini
Nick Johnson
Excellent debut from San Francisco-via-Baltimore poet Nick Johnson, which is stuctured in musical movements in order to deconstruct and reconstruct his world—both fictional and real, political and apolitical. Like getting to know someone. —Recommended by Chris, City Lights Publishers
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S O S
Poems 1961-2013
Amiri Baraka
The first comprehensive collection to show the full arc of Baraka's beautiful and revolutionary poetics. Essential. —Recommended by Michael, City lights Books
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Incidents of Travel in Poetry
New and Selected Poems
Frank Lima, Garrett Caples, Julien Poirier
New and selected work by a major Latino poet, the best kept secret of the New York School.
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Pictures of the Gone World: Pocket Poets Series Number One
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The volume that launched City Lights' iconic Pocket Poets Series, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first collection of poems, in an anniversary edition.
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Too Much Happens
"Too Much Happens is a collection that mingles personal and major social concerns in an attempt to give voice to a sense of increasing fear for a cherished world in crisis. Catastrophic wars, child soldiers, dried lake beds, the relentless onslaught of bad news. 'What Shall we do with what we know?' Too Much Happens poses a question..."
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Mexico in My Heart
New & Selected Poems
Willis Barnstone
Willis Barnstone is a literature in himself: poet, translator, interpreter, in one year he can range from Jesus to Sappho and Borges with calm authority and good humour. He re-translates the New Testament in a version Harold Bloom describes as 'a superb act of restoration'.
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Pedro Pietri
Selected Poetry
Pedro Pietri, Pedro Lopez Adorno, Juan Flores
A compelling and humorous collection of poems by the poet laureate of the Nuyorican Poets. Includes previously unpublished works.

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