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City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology

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"This comprehensive selection from the influential City Lights Pocket Poets Series is a landmark retrospective, celebrating forty years of publishing and cultural history.

From the introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
?Even though some say that an avant-garde in literature no longer exists, the smaller independent publisher is itself still a true avant-garde, its place still out there, scouting the unknown . . . From the beginning, the aim was to publish across the board, ...

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"This comprehensive selection from the influential City Lights Pocket Poets Series is a landmark retrospective, celebrating forty years of publishing and cultural history.

From the introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
“Even though some say that an avant-garde in literature no longer exists, the smaller independent publisher is itself still a true avant-garde, its place still out there, scouting the unknown . . . 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 . . .”

Includes poetry by:
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen, Allen Ginsberg, Marie Ponsot, Denise Levertov, Gregory Corso, Jacques Prévert, Robert Duncan, Jerome Rothenberg, Nicanor Parra, Robert Nichols, Anselm Hollo, Malcolm Lowry, Frank O’Hara, Philip Lamantia, Bob Kaufman, Janine Pommy-Vega, Charles Upton, Pablo Picasso, Robert Bly, Diane di Prima, Jack Kerouac, Andrei Voznesensky, Pete Winslow, Harold Norse, Anne Waldman, Jack Hirschman, Stefan Brect, Peter Orlovsky, Antler, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ernesto Cardenal, Antonio Porta, Adam Cornford, La Loca, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Daisy Zamora, Rosario Murillo, and Alberto Blanco.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drawing from the 52 volumes published in the Pocket Poets series since 1956, this selection provides a handy sampler of many of the prominent avant-garde and leftist poets of the post-WWII era. Included are poems from Beat staples such as Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Patchen, Jack Kerouac and Ferlinghetti himself. The anthology also demonstrates, however, the beyond-Beat breadth of the series, with works from William Carlos Williams, Robert Bly, Frank O'Hara, Denise Levertov and others. Arranged chronologically by publication, the collection offers a liberal dose of accomplished post-Beat writers, e.g., Diane di Prima and Anne Waldman, who claim roots in the tradition-although much of the more recent work seems simply derivative. The series' extensive international scope is highlighted in poems culled from German, Russian, Italian, Dutch, Nicaraguan and Spanish poets, including Neruda and Garcia Lorca. All in all, this is a lively, if slightly uneven, retrospective. Dec.
Library Journal
Celebrating 40 years of publishing, this anthology contains selections from all 52 volumes of the "Pocket Poets" series. Opening with Ferlinghetti's self-published "Pictures of the Gone World," the book moves on to familiar names (Denise Levertov, Kenneth Patchen, Robert Duncan) as well as lesser-known poets (La Loca, Charles Upton, Adam Cornford). Poets appear without biographical notes and create a dialog united by anticapitalist sentiments that transcend continents and languages. One juxtaposition worthy of note is Ginsberg's "Howl" beside Marie Ponsot's tight, rhyming poems. As Ferlinghetti admits, his aim was "to discover," and this retrospective proves "how right or how important (or how trivial) the editor's choices were." The publisher also welcomed artists established in other disciplines, printing works that other publishers shied away from: William Carlos Williams's hard-to-categorize meditations, poems by Malcolm Lowry and Pier Paolo Pasolini. This collection makes an essential statement and is recommended for all poetry collections.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
Ray Olson
Virtually every baby boomer who cares about contemporary poetry first made its acquaintance in one of the little square paperbacks Lawrence Ferlinghetti started publishing out of his San Francisco bookstore, City Lights, in 1955. Together, those slim volumes of dedicatedly modernist, often Beat, and generally avant-garde verse comprise the Pocket Poets series. A few pages from each of the first 52 titles in the series appear in this sampler. The poets include Ginsberg, O'Hara, Levertov, Kerouac, di Prima, Bly, etc., etc.--a who's who of postWorld War II American modernism--as well as their great inspirer, William Carlos Williams, and such foreign counterparts as Voznesensky and Parra, such foreign forebears as Mayakovsky and Picasso yes, poems by him. Of course, what we have here is a moment in cultural time, that of the 1950s1960s avant-garde; the next generation of new poets published elsewhere. But what a rich moment it is, one that belongs in every American library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872863118
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Series: City Lights Pocket Poets Series
  • Pages: 259
  • Sales rank: 1,369,777
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawerence Ferlinghetti is the famous Beat poet and painter who founded City Lights Books in San Francisco.His most recent books are How To Paint Sunlight (poetry) and Love in the Days of Rage (fiction).
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Table of Contents

No. 1 Pictures of the Gone World
No. 2 Thirty Spanish Poems of Love and Exile
No. 3 Poems of Humor & Protest
No. 4 Howl and Other Poems
No. 5 True Minds
No. 6 Here and Now
No. 7 Kora in Hell: Improvisations
No. 8 Gasoline
No. 9 Paroles
No. 10 Selected Poems
No. 11 New Young German Poets
No. 12 Anti-Poems
No. 13 The Love Poems of Kenneth Patchen
No. 14 Kaddish and Other Poems
No. 15 Slow Newsreel of Man Riding Train
No. 16 Red Cats
No. 17 Selected Poems of Malcolm Lowry
No. 18 Reality Sandwiches
No. 19 Lunch Poems
No. 20 Selected Poems
No. 21 Golden Sardine
No. 22 Poems to Fernando
No. 23 Planet News
No. 24 Panic Grass
No. 25 Hunk of Skin
No. 26 The Teeth-Mother Naked at Last
No. 27 Revolutionary Letters Etc
No. 28 Scattered Poems
No. 29 Dogalypse: San Francisco Poetry Reading
No. 30 The Fall of America: Poems of These States
No. 31 A Daisy in the Memory of a Shark
No. 32 Hotel Nirvana
No. 33 Fast Speaking Woman & Other Chants
No. 34 Lyripol
No. 35 Mind Breaths
No. 36 Poems
No. 37 Clean Asshole Poems & Smiling Vegetable Songs
No. 38 Factory
No. 39 Becoming Visible
No. 40 Plutonian Ode
No. 41 Roman Poems
No. 42 Nine Dutch Poets
No. 43 From Nicaragua with Love: Poems
No. 44 Kisses from Another Dream
No. 45 Animations
No. 46 Adventures on the Isle of Adolescence
No. 47 Listen! Early Poems
No. 48 Pomes All Sizes
No. 49 Riverbed of Memory
No. 50 Angel in the Deluge
No. 51 The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
No. 52 Dawn of the Senses
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    A must-have anthology

    This proves that a small press can have a big impact on culture. City Lights has presented some of the very best poets in recent history, including Rexroth, Levertov, Kerouac, Zamora, etc., etc.--This is a delightful collection

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