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Calendar, Night&Day Legal Legacy

Legal Legacy

Since WWII, only a handful of war tax resistors have been jailed; one of them is civil rights lawyer Tony Serra. After one of his several stints, Serra filed a class-action suit demanding minimum wage for convict labor; he…
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Calendar, Night&Day Stark Raving Sanity

Stark Raving Sanity

New from the Michelle Tea-edited Sister Spit imprint on City Lights Books is the debut novel from Dia Felix, Nochita, which follows the wanderings of a young girl who leaves two sets of inadequate parents for an uncertain, destinationless…
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Calendar, Night&Day Playing With Fire

Playing With Fire

Rachel Kushner is the only writer to be nominated for a National Book Award for a first and second novel. The latter, The Flamethrowers, was published last year and became a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. In…
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Calendar, Night&Day On Behalf of the Community

On Behalf of the Community

San Francisco's sixth Poet Laureate, and first Latino to fill the role, will return to City Lights to celebrate the launch of Stray Poems. The book opens with Alejandro Murguia's beautiful inaugural address, in which he accepts the Laureate…
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Calendar, Night&Day Godfather


A major catalyst for the San Francisco Renaissance and a huge inspiration to the Beat generation, Kenneth Rexroth is undeniably one of the most important voices in the development of a Bay Area literary culture. Host of a regular…
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Calendar, Night&Day Poetry Porno

Poetry Porno

Using William Burroughs' cut-up technique to create Frankenstein texts out of a combination of her own writing and that of others, Dodie Bellamy published the now classic Cunt-Ups in 2001. The book is as interesting for its often-violent disembodiment…
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Calendar, Night&Day Endless Landscapes

Endless Landscapes

It's not often you get the chance to see Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder. One of the five to read at the famed "Howl" debut, Snyder has spent much of his life in the Sierra foothills, becoming one of…
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Calendar, Night&Day Debutante Ball

Debutante Ball

City Lights just published Alli Warren's first book, Here Come the Warm Jets — that sentence alone tells you what promise this amazing young poet has. She's long been an all-star of the zine/small press scene and this book…
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Calendar, Night&Day You Don't Look a Day Over Immortal

You Don't Look a Day Over Immortal

For a great American bookstore, 60 seems young. Like: Oh, is that all? We've sorta started thinking City Lights, that shining beacon of the Broadway-Columbus crossroads, first turned on by poet-publisher-wizard Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953, actually had been here…
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Calendar, Night&Day Goodbye To The City

Goodbye To The City

Leave it to Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore to have us all excited about the end of San Francisco. The queer activist and radical prose stylist moved to Seattle a few years ago but returns to celebrate her new book (out on…
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Music, All Shook Down Richard Hell at City Lights: "To Me, S.F. Is Where Sex Is Everywhere"

Richard Hell at City Lights: "To Me, S.F. Is Where Sex Is Everywhere"

Richard Hell City Lights Bookstore Monday, March 25, 2013 Better than: Everything else happening in North Beach last night. The walls of City Lights Bookstore are littered with relics of past literary events, and it's difficult to scan the posters…
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Calendar, Night&Day Blank Page Generation

Blank Page Generation

In 1974, the band Television had a weekly "residency" at a skuzzy biker bar called CBGBs, and Patti Smith wrote one of their first reviews. After rhapsodizing about Tom Verlaine's swanlike neck, she turned to Richard Hell — his look,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Antinomial Syzygy

Antinomial Syzygy

At the turn of the 20th century, Alfred Jarry produced the most compelling plan for a time machine yet published. This, and Jarry’s habit of speaking in a clipped, mechanized voice fashioned after his own character in Ubu Roi, probably…
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Calendar, Night&Day Rail Against the Machine

Rail Against the Machine

In 1969, during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Transcontinental Railroad, guest speaker/historian Philip P. Choy made quite an impression. Regrettably, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation had been asked to speak first, speciously bragging that only “Americans” could have built…
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Best of San Francisco, Shopping & Services

Best Place to Buy New Books

San Francisco's status as one of America's best book cities was somewhat threatened by closures over the last decade (RIP Stacey's and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books). But City Lights is still going strong, and remains a linchpin of…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist <i>Ferlinghetti/Ferlinghetti</i> Depicts Far-Reaching Influence of Poet, Activist, Publisher

Ferlinghetti/Ferlinghetti Depicts Far-Reaching Influence of Poet, Activist, Publisher

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a pioneer in the business of bookselling (City Lights was the nation's first all-paperback retailer), and he turned the literary world on its head by publishing the likes of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, Burroughs, Bukowski, and himself among…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Rory O'Connor, who Ripped Rush Limbaugh, Is Back to Take on Facebook

Rory O'Connor, who Ripped Rush Limbaugh, Is Back to Take on Facebook

If Glenn Beck keeps a J. Edgar Hoover-esque blacklist under his bed pillow, journalist Rory O'Connor is probably on it, his name appearing near those of Nancy Pelosi and George Soros. O'Connor's progressive bona fides are extensive: Alternet reporter, Huffington…
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Calendar, Night&Day Hatebook


If Glenn Beck keeps a J. Edgar Hoover-esque blacklist under his bed pillow, journalist Rory O’Connor is probably on it, appearing before Nancy Pelosi and George Soros. O’Connor’s progressive bona fides are extensive: Alternet reporter, Huffington Post blogger, media watchdog,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Civil Wrongs Revisited

Civil Wrongs Revisited

Bayard Rustin was a fervid orator and incisive rhetorician who served as a key figure in the civil rights movement for more than 60 years. He introduced Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence to American activists, and he organized the 1963…
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Culture, Books

"The Anatomy of Harpo Marx": Singular Actor Singularly Celebrated

Wednesday, April 11 Harpo Marx — that industrious nonsense-maker, that weirdly peripheral cynosure, that genius of the rambunctious nonsequitur — at last has the celebrant he deserves. In The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, Wayne Koestenbaum — that industrious poet, critic,…
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