City Lights Pocket Poets Series  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The City Lights Pocket Poets Series is a series of poetry collections published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Books of San Francisco since August 1955. The series is most notable for the publication of Allen Ginsberg's literary milestone "Howl", which lead to an obscenity charge for the publishers that was fought off with the aid of the ACLU.

Initially, the books were small, affordable paperbacks with a distinctive black and white cover design. (This design was borrowed from Kenneth Patchen's An Astonished Eye Looks Out of the Air (1945), published by Oregon's Untide Press. [1]) The paperbacks were the first introduction for many readers to avant-garde poetry. Many of the poets were members of the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance, but the volumes included a diverse array of poets, including authors translated from Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch. According to Ferlinghetti, "From the beginning the aim was to publish across the board, avoiding the provincial and the academic...I had in mind rather an international, dissident, insurgent ferment."

List of books in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series

  1. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pictures of a Gone World, August 1955
  2. Kenneth Rexroth (translator), Thirty Spanish Poems of Love and Exile, 1956
  3. Kenneth Patchen, Poems of Humor and Protest, 1956
  4. Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems, 1956
  5. Marie Ponsot, True Minds, 1956
  6. Denise Levertov, Here and Now, 1957
  7. William Carlos Williams, Kora in Hell : Improvisations, 1957
  8. Gregory Corso, Gasoline/Vestal Lady on Brattle, 1958
  9. Jacques Prevert, Paroles, 1958
  10. Robert Duncan, Selected Poems, 1959
  11. Jerome Rothenberg (translator), New Young German Poets, 1959
  12. Nicanor Parra, Anti-Poems, 1960
  13. Kenneth Patchen, Love Poems, 1960
  14. Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish and other poems, 1961
  15. Robert Nichols, Slow Newsreel of Man Riding Train, 1962
  16. Yevgeni Yevtuschenko, Anselm Hollo (translator), Red Cats, 1962
  17. Malcolm Lowry, Selected Poems, 1962
  18. Allen Ginsberg, Reality Sandwiches, 1963
  19. Frank O'Hara, Lunch Poems, 1964
  20. Philip Lamantia, Selected Poems 1943-1966, 1967
  21. Bob Kaufman, Golden Sardine, 1967
  22. Janine Pommy-Vega, Poems to Fernando, 1968
  23. Allen Ginsberg, Planet News, 1968
  24. Charles Upton, Panic Grass, 1968
  25. Pablo Picasso, Hunk of Skin, 1968
  26. Robert Bly, The Teeth-Mother Naked At Last
  27. Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letters, 1971
  28. Jack Kerouac, Scattered Poems, 1971
  29. Andrei Voznesensky, Dogalypse, 1972
  30. Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America,
  31. Pete Winslow, A Daisy in the Memory of a Shark
  32. Harold Norse, Hotel Nirvana
  33. Anne Waldman, Fast Speaking Woman
  34. Jack Hirschman, Lyripol
  35. Allen Ginsberg, Mind Breaths
  36. Stefan Brecht, Poems
  37. Peter Orlovsky, Clean Asshole Poems & Smiling Vegetable Songs, 1978
  38. Antler, Factory
  39. Philip Lamantia, Becoming Visible, 1981
  40. Allen Ginsberg, Plutonian Ode 1977-1980, 1982
  41. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roman Poems
  42. Scott Rollins (editor), Nine Dutch Poets
  43. Ernesto Cardenal, From Nicaragua With Love
  44. Antonio Porta, Kisses From Another Dream
  45. Adam Conford, Animations
  46. La Loca, Adventures on the Isle of Adolescence
  47. Vladimir Mayakovsky, Listen!
  48. Jack Kerouac, Poems all Sizes, 1992
  49. Daisy Zamora, Riverbed of Memory
  50. Rosario Murillo, Angel in the Deluge
  51. Jack Kerouac, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
  52. Alberto Blanco, Dawn of the Senses
  53. Julio Cortazar, Save Twilight: Selected Poems
  54. Dino Campana, Orphic Songs
  55. Jack Hirschman, Front Lines: Selected Poems


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