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, Todd Miller, 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, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Julien Poirier, Elaine Kahn, Barbara Jane Reyes, and Will Alexander.



Featured Titles from City Lights Publishers


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The Green New Deal and Beyond
Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can
Stan Cox
Honoring the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a clear and urgent call for the national, social, and individual changes required to prevent catastrophic climate change.
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A Short History of Presidential Election Crises
(And How to Prevent the Next One)
Alan Hirsch
Will Trump try to delay the November election? Does the Constitution prevent him from doing so? We present an urgent primer on what can be done to combat emerging threats to the core of U.S. Democracy––presidential elections.
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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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Little Hill
Alli Warren
Despite the dystopian now, Alli Warren finds promise in the smallest human instances of tenderness, ecological connection, and political solidarity. Little Hill is about learning to live and love in the 21st century while not shying away from all there is to struggle against.
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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
Winner of the 2020 PEN Open Book Award. 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
2019 NCIBA Golden Poppy Award Winner - Poetry - 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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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.