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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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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Trance Archive
New and Selected Poems; City Lights Spotlight No. 3
Andrew Joron
Like a chance encounter between Einstein and Breton, Trance Archive embraces philosophy, science, and surrealism.
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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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The Black Automaton
Douglas Kearney
From ambivalent animals thriving after Katrina to party chants echoing in a burning city, The Black Automaton troubles rubble, cobbling a kind of life. In this collection, bodies at risk seek renewal through violence and fertility, history and myth...
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Buck Studies
Poems
Douglas Kearney
Dynamic poet, performer, librettist, and professor Douglas Kearney's works speak to those who are listening to what our living, material language has to say about race and history. At the hub of Buck Studies is a long mash-up of the stories of Herakles, the Greek bad-man, and that of Stagger Lee, the black bad-man.
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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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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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The Pawnbroker's Daughter
A Memoir
Maxine Kumin
From Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Maxine Kumin comes a timeless memoir of life, love, and poetry.
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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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The World's Embrace
Abdellatif Laâbi
Selected Poems
Compelling poems from one of the most prolific and critically acclaimed of contemporary North African writers. Imprisoned for many years by the Moroccan authorities, Laabi's poetry is haunted by memories of torture and prisons and bears witness to...
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Tau by Philip Lamantia and Journey to the End by John Hoffman
Pocket Poets Number 59
Philip Lamantia, John Hoffman, Garrett Caples
Two new books from the classic Beat period: mystical poems by Philip Lamantia and the long-lost "Six Gallery" poems by legendary hipster John Hoffman.
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Maldoror and Poems
Comte de Lautréamont
In forty years of reading fiction as an adult, this is the single most disturbing piece of literature I have ever come across. An influential text for the surrealists, Maldoror was published in 1869, one year before the author's death, at age 24! —Recommended by Jeff, City Lights Books
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Voyage of the Sable Venus
and Other Poems
Robin Coste Lewis
A stunning poetry debut: this meditation on the black female figure throughout time introduces us to a brave and penetrating new voice. Robin Coste Lewis's electrifying collection is a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems considering the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self.
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The Beautifully Worthless
Ali Liebegott
Back in print! Ali Liebegott's award-winning epic road poem has been compared to Jack Kerouac and David Wojnarowicz.

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