Category Archives: City Lights at 60

When I Was a Poet: Life and Work of David Meltzer

If San Francisco poetry has its own Zelig, a figure who seems to pop up and blend in with all the scene’s different incarnations, then it must be David Meltzer, who turned 78 this past Tuesday. Meltzer moved to San Francisco from Los … Continue reading

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Exploring The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems from City Lights

Pablo Neruda is a notoriously difficult poet to translate into English (in fact, entire books have been written about this difficulty) – not least because he is a great master of rhyme in Spanish, and Romance languages have in general far more rhyming … Continue reading

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City Lights Author Nathaniel Mackey Wins Bollingen Prize

This week Yale University awarded Nathaniel Mackey its prestigious Bollingen Prize in American Poetry in recognition of both his most recent volume, Outer Pradesh (Anomalous Press, 2014), and an ongoing body of work that Mackey has been developing for nearly forty years. … Continue reading

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The City Lights Publications of Howard Zinn

For Howard Zinn, writing history was never a neutral act. His work exists as a constant reminder that America’s future rests on our understanding of the American past, and that contemporary events can be shaped for better or worse according to our … Continue reading

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Alejandro Murguía, Poet Laureate of San Francisco

When Mayor Ed Lee asked Alejandro Murguía in 2012 if he would agree to become San Francisco’s sixth Poet Laureate, the first Latino poet to hold the position, Murguía’s first answer was, “Only in the name of my community.” His follow-up was … Continue reading

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Remembering Al Bendich, the Lawyer that won the “Howl” Trial

On June 3rd, 1957, an undercover customs officer entered City Lights Bookstore and purchased a copy of Howl and Other Poems (1956) by Allen Ginsberg. He promptly arrested Shig Murao, the store’s manager. And later Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the publisher of … Continue reading

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