Welcome to City Lights Publishers
In 1955, two years after opening his paperback bookshop, Lawrence Ferlinghetti launched City Lights Publishers with the Pocket Poets Series.
City Lights Publishers’ first volume was a collection of Ferlinghetti’s own poems, Pictures of the Gone World. Within a year City Lights had published its fourth and its most famous title, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, a book that revolutionized American poetry and American consciousness. City Lights has always been a champion of progressive thinking, fully committed to publishing works of both literary merit and social responsibility. With over 200 titles in print, we publish cutting-edge fiction, poetry, memoirs, literary translations and books on vital social and political issues.
All City Lights Publications are offered at a 30% discount here on our website.
Hot Off the Press
Joyce Mansour Add to cart
Emerald Wounds: Selected Poems
Evan Kennedy Add to cart
Metamorphoses: City Lights Spotlight No. 22
Ebru Ojen Add to cart
Lynn Lewis Add to cart
Women Who Change the World: Stories from the Fight for Social Justice
Sonali Kolhatkar Add to cart
Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice
Belén Gopegui Add to cart
Stay This Day and Night with Me
Will Alexander Add to cart
Divine Blue Light (for John Coltrane): Pocket Poets Series No. 63
Joyce Chopra Add to cart
Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond
Featured Books Published by City Lights
Daisy Zamora Add to cart
Riverbed of Memory
Alejandro Murguía Add to cart
Carribean Fragoza Add to cart
Eat the Mouth That Feeds You
Juan Felipe Herrera Add to cart
Every Day We Get More Illegal
Octavio Solis Add to cart
Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border
Sesshu Foster Add to cart
Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines
Carmen Giménez Smith Add to cart
Cruel Futures: City Lights Spotlight No. 17
Guillermo Gómez-Peña Add to cart
Doc/Undoc: Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática
Kit Schluter Pre-Order Now
Roberto Harrison Pre-Order Now
Isthmus to Abya Yala: City Lights Spotlight Series #23
Gil Cuadros Pre-Order Now
My Body Is Paper: Stories and Poems
Jordan Elgrably Pre-Order Now
Stories from the Center of the World: Fiction from the Markaz Review
Mumia Abu-Jamal Pre-Order Now
Beneath the Mountain: An Anti-Prison Reader
mimi tempestt Pre-Order Now
The Delicacy of Embracing Spirals
Clark Coolidge Pre-Order Now
The Crystal Text
City Lights has published some of the world’s best known writers and thinkers, and we’ve also introduced an exciting range of new voices and viewpoints. Check out all the City Lights authors currently in print, and a list of their works available from our site.
City Lights Authors On the Road
Find out if our authors are going to be reading somewhere near you! This page is updated regularly with our roster of authors’ event schedules.
Publicity & Media Requests
Media requests and inquiries can be sent to our Publicity Department.
Rights & Permissions
To inquire about the availability of foreign-language rights, English-language reprint rights, audio, film, or dramatic rights of works published by City Lights Books, please contact our Rights Associate.
To request permission to reprint materials from City Lights publications, please submit your request via email to The Permissions Company, Inc. Please include the following information: book title, author or editor, page number(s), title of poem or chapter. We will also need information on your planned publication: title, author or editor, publisher, proposed publication date, price, distribution, format, and the number of copies to be printed.
Desk & Exam Copies
Sales & Distribution
City Lights publications are distributed to bookstores and libraries by Ingram Publisher Services. Bookstores can get more information here: https://www.ingramcontent.com/retailers/independent-bookstores while libraries can get more information here: https://www.ingramcontent.com/libraries
Any questions about purchasing City Lights titles directly can be asked here.
Regretfully, we are unable to accept manuscript submissions or book proposals.
City Lights Publishers seeks interns on a regular basis to help support our publicity and marketing efforts.
Interns will work on a variety of publicity and marketing tasks. We do not offer editorial internships. Our internships require 4-6 hours/week, with a 3 month commitment, and are unpaid. (Summer internships are available, as well, so please inquire about the time commitment.)
The City Lights Publishing offices are located in the City Lights Bookstore at 261 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco.
Please send a cover letter and resume to Stacey Lewis. No phone calls, please.