City Lights Pocket Poets Series

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 led to an obscenity charge for the publishers that was fought off with the aid of the ACLU.

The series is published in a small, affordable paperback format 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 Untide Press in Oregon.[1]

The series gave many readers their first introduction 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 the Gone World, August 1955 (reissued & expanded, 1995; 60th Anniversary Edition, 2015)
  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 (hardcover 40th Anniversary Edition, 1996)
  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, 1958 (reissued with The Vestal Lady on Brattle, 1978)
  9. Jacques Prévert, Paroles, 1958 (reissued bilingually, 1990)
  10. Robert Duncan, Selected Poems, 1959
  11. Jerome Rothenberg (translator), New Young German Poets, 1959
  12. Nicanor Parra, Anti-Poems, 1960
  13. Kenneth Patchen, The Love Poems of Kenneth Patchen, 1960
  14. Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish and Other Poems, 1961 (reissued 50th Anniversary Edition, 2010)
  15. Robert Nichols, Slow Newsreel of Man Riding Train, 1962
  16. Yevgeni Yevtuschenko, etc., Anselm Hollo (translator), Red Cats, 1962
  17. Malcolm Lowry, Selected Poems of Malcolm Lowry, 1962 (reedited and reissued, 2017)
  18. Allen Ginsberg, Reality Sandwiches, 1963
  19. Frank O'Hara, Lunch Poems, 1964 (reissued 50th Anniversary Edition, 2014)
  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, 1961-1967, 1968
  24. Charles Upton, Panic Grass, 1968
  25. Pablo Picasso, Hunk of Skin, 1968
  26. Robert Bly, The Teeth-Mother Naked At Last, 1970
  27. Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letters, 1971
  28. Jack Kerouac, Scattered Poems, 1971
  29. Andrei Voznesensky, Dogalypse, 1972
  30. Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America, Poems of These States 1965-1971, 1972
  31. Pete Winslow, A Daisy in the Memory of a Shark, 1973
  32. Harold Norse, Hotel Nirvana, 1974
  33. Anne Waldman, Fast Speaking Woman, 1975 (reissued & expanded, 1996)
  34. Jack Hirschman, Lyripol, 1976
  35. Allen Ginsberg, Mind Breaths, Poems 1972-1977, 1977
  36. Stefan Brecht, Poems, 1978
  37. Peter Orlovsky, Clean Asshole Poems & Smiling Vegetable Songs, 1978
  38. Antler, Factory, 1980
  39. Philip Lamantia, Becoming Visible, 1981
  40. Allen Ginsberg, Plutonian Ode and Other Poems 1977-1980, 1982
  41. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roman Poems, 1986 (reissued bilingually, 2005)
  42. Scott Rollins (editor), Nine Dutch Poets, 1982. Translations of poems by Karel Appel, J. Bernlef, Remco Campert, Jules Deelder, Judith Herzberg, Lucebert, Hans Plomp, Bert Schierbeek, and Simon Vinkenoog. Also includes a text by Anton Constandse.
  43. Ernesto Cardenal, From Nicaragua With Love, 1986
  44. Antonio Porta, Kisses From Another Dream, 1987
  45. Adam Cornford, Animations, 1988
  46. La Loca, Adventures on the Isle of Adolescence, 1989
  47. Vladimir Mayakovsky, Listen!, 1991
  48. Jack Kerouac, Pomes All Sizes, 1992
  49. Daisy Zamora, Riverbed of Memory, 1992
  50. Rosario Murillo, Angel in the Deluge, 1992
  51. Jack Kerouac, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, 1994
  52. Alberto Blanco, Dawn of the Senses, 1995
  53. Julio Cortázar, Save Twilight: Selected Poems, 1997 (reissued in an expanded edition, 2016)
  54. Dino Campana, Orphic Songs, 1998
  55. Jack Hirschman, Front Lines: Selected Poems, 2002
  56. Semezdin Mehmedinovic, Nine Alexandrias, 2003
  57. Kamau Daaood, The Language of Saxophones, 2005
  58. Cristina Peri Rossi, State of Exile, 2008
  59. Tau by Philip Lamantia and Journey to the End by John Hoffman, 2008
  60. David Meltzer, When I Was A Poet, 2011
  61. Tongo Eisen-Martin, Heaven Is All Goodbyes, 2017


  • ^ Introduction, page i. City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, editor. City Lights Books, 1995. (ISBN 0-87286-311-5)
  • City Lights Pocket Poets - Cover Story by Marcus Williamson
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