Welcome to City Lights Publishers

Founded in 1955, with nearly 200 books in print, City Lights publishes cutting-edge fiction, poetry, memoirs, literary translations and books on vital social and political issues.

Scroll down for a selection of our new and notable titles, and take a look at our recent releases and our forthcoming titles

ONLINE-ONLY DISCOUNT: City Lights Publications are always 30% off the retail price when you order from our website.

Imprints & series include:

Pocket Poets Series
Classics such as Howl and Other Poems and Lunch Poems, as well as books by Jack Kerouac, Anne Waldman, David Meltzer, Julio Cortázar, Philip Lamantia, Jacques Prevert, Pier Paolo Passolini, Tongo Eisen-Martin and many more.

Open Media Series
Committed to solidarity with social movements promoting greater freedom, justice, and democracy by publishing the most outspoken scholars, advocates, and dissidents of our time. Authors in the series include Howard Zinn, Angela Y. Davis, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Tim Wise, Henry A. Giroux, and John Gibler.

City Lights Foundation
The Foundation's role is to advance deep literacy, which is not only the ability to read and write but fluency in the knowledge and skills that enable us to consciously shape our lives and the life of our community. Our San Francisco Poet Laureate Series is published by the Foundation, as well as memoirs, anthologies, and other nonfiction.

City Lights/Sister Spit
Queer-centric, feminist, irreverent books from artists across the U.S. Includes our New York Times bestselling book for kids, Rad American Women A-Z, and critically acclaimed books by Thomas Page McBee, Chinaka Hodge, Lenelle Moïse, Beth Lisick, Dia Felix, and Ali Liebegott.

Spotlight Series
In the tradition of the press's storied poetic origins, City Lights Spotlight hopes to shine a light on the wealth of innovative American poetry being written today using the cultural visibility of City Lights to bring their work to a wider audience. Authors include Norma Cole, Anselm Berrigan, Lisa Jarnot, Catherine Wagner, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Julien Poirier, and Will Alexander.



Featured Titles from City Lights Publishers


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Race Man
Selected Works, 1960-2015
Julian Bond, Michael G. Long
Newsweek, Lit Hub, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution pick Race Man by Julian Bond as one of their Most-Anticipated Books of 2020!
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The Promise
Silvina Ocampo
A dying woman's attempt to recount the story of her life reveals the fragility of memory and the illusion of identity.
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Forgotten Journey
Silvina Ocampo
Delicately crafted, intensely visual, deeply personal stories explore the nature of memory, family ties, and the difficult imbalances of love.
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Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman, Neeli Cherkovski, Raymond Foye, Tate Swindell
Collected for the first time, the complete surviving works of a major African-American Beat Surrealist poet. ––Recommended by Paul Yamazaki, head book buyer, City Lights Bookstore
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Death Blossoms
Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience, Expanded Edition
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Profound meditations on life, death, freedom, family, and faith written by radical, Black journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, while he was awaiting his execution.
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The Grave on the Wall
Brandon Shimoda
A memoir and book of mourning, a grandson's attempt to reconcile his own uncontested citizenship with his grandfather's lifelong struggle.
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United States of Distraction
Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It)
Mickey Huff, Nolan Higdon
A powerful critique of how manipulation of media gives rise to disinformation, intolerance, and divisiveness, and how we can fight back.
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Inside the Magnetic Fields
Penelope Rosemont
A series of personal and historical encounters with surrealism from one of its foremost practitioners in the United States.
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Deer Trails
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 7
Kim Shuck
San Francisco's new poet laureate—a Native American and native San Franciscan—explores urban space and the natural world.
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We the Resistance
Documenting a History of Nonviolent Protest in the United States
Michael G. Long
A first-person history of nonviolent resistance in the U.S., from pre-Revolutionary America to the Trump years.
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Impeaching the President
Past, Present, and Future
Alan Hirsch
NOW AVAILABLE: An historical look at the practice of impeachment, how it impacted the terms of Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton, and how it may affect Donald Trump.

"Lucid, balanced, and deeply informed. Anyone in search of a reasoned guide to the unreason of our current situation should read it."--Elizabeth Kolbert

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Humans in Dark Times
Natasha Lennard, Brad Evans
Interviews with leading thinkers on the crisis of violence in contemporary politics, history, media, and culture.
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Torn from the World
A Guerrilla's Escape from a Secret Prison in Mexico
John Gibler
The real-life story of a political insurgent who was disappeared and tortured by the Mexican Army and miraculously escaped to tell the tale.
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A Disarming History of the Second Amendment
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
"If . . . anyone at all really wants to 'get to the root causes of gun violence in America,' they will need to start by coming to terms with even a fraction of what Loaded proposes."—Los Angeles Review of Books
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I Couldn't Even Imagine That They Would Kill Us
An Oral History of the Attacks Against the Students of Ayotzinapa
John Gibler
Chosen as a Best Book of 2017 by Publishers Weekly!

Harrowing personal narratives describing how Mexican authorities disappeared, killed, and injured scores of students and others in a still-unsolved crime.