Collection : City Lights Spotlight, City Lights Publishers

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.
—Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Beginning with the Pocket Poets Series and the publication of Howl, City Lights has played a vital role in American poetry for over 50 years. In the tradition of the press's storied poetic origins, we are pleased to announce a new series, City Lights Spotlight. Bay Area poet Garrett Caples will edit the series.

City Lights Spotlight hopes to shine a light on the wealth of innovative American poetry being written today. We intend to publish accomplished figures known in the poetry community as well as young emerging poets, using the cultural visibility of City Lights to bring their work to a wider audience. In doing so, we also seek to draw attention to those small presses publishing such authors.

"With the Spotlight series, we're hoping to grow the audience for the poets we'll publish, and also to introduce our readers to the rich world of contemporary innovative poetry we’ll be drawing from. It’s an opportunity for City Lights to play a meaningful role in a different way, and it’s a natural complement to our established poetry program," says City Lights Executive Director and Publisher Elaine Katzenberger.

As City Lights founder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, wrote in his recent Poetry as Insurgent Art, "If you would be a poet, experiment with all manner of poetics . . . to create your own limbic, your own underlying voice, your ur voice." With City Lights Spotlight, we seek to maintain this standard of innovation and inclusiveness, publishing highly original poetry from across the cultural spectrum, and reaffirming our longstanding commitment to this most ancient and stubbornly enduring form of art.


Events linked to this collection:

Saturday, November 15: 5:00PM
Los Angeles, CA: Skylight Books

Will Alexander reads from his latest poetry collections at Skylight Books! Will is the author of Compression & Purity, No. 5 in the City Lights Spotlight Series. His newest poetry collection is The Brimstone Boat, Reve


Book Party for John Coletti: Tuesday, November 25, 7:00PM
San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books

Celebrating the release of

Deep Code

No. 12 in the City Lights Spotlight Series!


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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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Free Cell
City Lights Spotlight No. 2
Anselm Berrigan
The second volume in the City Lights Spotlight series—experimental poems by innovative New York poet and former St. Mark's Poetry Project director.



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Where Shadows Will
Selected Poems 1988-2008; City Lights Spotlight No. 1
Norma Cole
First volume of the new City Lights Spotlight series: selected poems by a major avant-garde woman poet.



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