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.

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Nervous Device
City Lights Spotlight No. 8
Catherine Wagner
With Nervous Device, Catherine Wagner explores the boundary the poem marks between poet and audience, questioning the potential for human connection.

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Advice for Lovers
City Lights Spotlight No. 7
Julian Talamantez Brolaski
Inspired by Ovid and renaissance sonnet cycles, Advice for Lovers is a queer re-imaginging of the art of courtly love.

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Waifs and Strays
City Lights Spotlight No. 6
Micah Ballard
From the bayous of Louisiana to the pavements of San Francisco, Micah Ballard rounds up his haunting waifs and strays.

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Compression & Purity
City Lights Spotlight No. 5
Will Alexander
African American surrealism that extends from the ocean floor to the outer reaches of space.

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Stranger in Town
City Lights Spotlight No. 4
Cedar Sigo
Redolent of Wieners, Whalen, and Lamantia, Stranger in Town is the second coming of the SF Renaissance.

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

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