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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Front Lines
Pocket Poets Number 55
Jack Hirschman
In the activist verse of this poetic warrior, always committed, the actual world is never out of mind, even in his most intimate poems. Kabbalist, populist, and communist, Hirschman has published over sixty books of his own poetry, and this...
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In Danger
A Pasolini Anthology
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jack Hirschman
In Danger reveals the literary life of internationally renowned filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini
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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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Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
With the publication of his first book of poems, The Weary Blues, in 1926, Langston Hughes electrified readers and launched a renaissance in black writing in America.  The poems Hughes wrote celebrated the experience of invisible men and women: of...
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Joie de Vivre
Selected Poems 1992-2012; City Lights Spotlight No. 9
Lisa Jarnot
A selection from twenty years of poetry from one of the key avant-garde women poets of the post-Language generation.
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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
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 Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath, Karen V. Kukil
Sylvia Plath's journals were originally published in 1982 in a heavily abridged version authorized by Plath's husband, Ted Hughes. This new edition is an exact and complete transcription of the diaries Plath kept during the last twelve years of her life.
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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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