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

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-Martinand 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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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.

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venture of the infinite man
Pablo Neruda
Neruda's long-overlooked third book of poetry, critical in his poetic evolution, now translated into English for the very first time!
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Storming the Wall
Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security
Todd Miller
Fast-paced frontline reportage chronicling how climate change is accelerating migration, border build-up, and militarization in the U.S. and beyond.
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Whistleblower at the CIA
An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence
Melvin A. Goodman
Russia expert and former CIA analyst Mel Goodman tells the inside story of political corruption at the organization, and what he did to try to stop it.
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Heaven Is All Goodbyes
Pocket Poets Series No. 61
Tongo Eisen-Martin
"This is resistance as sound."—Claudia Rankine
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The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian
E.F. Granell
Picaresque novel of the Spanish Civil War written by one of the most important post-WWII members of the Surrealist Movement.
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Invocation to Daughters
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 16
Barbara Jane Reyes
Volume 16 in the City Lights Spotlight Series: Feminist experimental poetry in the tradition of Audre Lorde and Theresa Kyung Cha from a prominent Filipina American poet.
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Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?
Mumia Abu-Jamal
"A must-read for anyone interested in social justice and inequalities, social movements, the criminal justice system, and African American history. An excellent companion to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary '13th'."—Library Journal, Starred Review
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Behind the Moon
Madison Smartt Bell
"A kind of primal storytelling that crackles with dread and desire."—O Magazine
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Breaking Through Power
It's Easier Than We Think
Ralph Nader
"Anybody who says that they don't know what to do and that they're horrified by what's going on in Washington—this is the book for you to start with."—Ralph Nader discussing his new book Breaking Through Power: It's Easier Than We Think
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America at War with Itself
Henry A. Giroux
An eye-opening critique of how America's drift toward authoritarian intolerance is dividing the nation and intensifying social and political conflicts.
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Rad American Women A-Z
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl
New York Times Bestseller! A book for children—and their parents, teachers, and cool grown-up friends—documenting America's famous and unsung heroines.
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On to the Next Dream
Paul Madonna
The tech gentrification of San Francisco, forcing out everyone from artists to middle-income families, captured in a first-person illustrated story.