The importance of the format and shape of the series might help understand how influential they have been in spreading the work of these poets.
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First, the launching of City Lights publishers corresponded to the launching of the Pocket Poets Series. Both were intimately related in serving as a forum for Beat and experimental poets but also as a new means to spread poetry to the streets.
The publishing house was born around poetry. Measuring about 15,5x12,5 cm, the small format paperback certainly partook in its success and impact. The inside front and rear covers were blank, the paper was cream or white laid or wove and the number of pages averaged 12 to In fact, the format itself resists conformity, and it speaks to a readership not confined to the office or organisation.
No wonder then that it became a catalyst in a paradigm shift in American poetry and consciousness. The booklet comes with an introduction by William Carlos Williams. The leave cream woven opus contains eleven poems by Ginsberg Solomon was a writer Ginsberg had met when he was cured at Grey Stone Park mental institute. Customs Office in San Francisco. The trial The People of the State of California vs. Lawrence Ferlinghetti lasted the whole summer. Ferlinghetti spots at least two reasons for its seizure.
The case more than the book perhaps had immense aftermaths on the publishing world at the time. Ferlinghetti admits that the times required him and the publishing world to take a stand on the question of censorship. As such, one may wonder whether publishing Howl was not a deliberate act of civil disobedience, of literary and political dissent. The massive support Ferlinghetti did receive from editors, poets Denise Levertov among them , educators, and critics proved that they somehow welcomed, perhaps even, were waiting for this rebirth and adaptation of a Whitmanian call when times were at a certain conformism and uniformity This dispute over the charges of obscenity marked a turning point in post-war America attitude to sex and censorship.
But, quite interestingly, it was equally the content the form, and the materiality of the booklet that were censored: its raw, unmediated language and its explicit references to sex, homosexuality and drugs.
The San Francisco Renaissance & the Beat Movement
Not only did the case politically challenge the issue of censorship, it also allowed a brewing poetic vision, form and style to be voiced and it brought poetry to the foreground as a public matter Stefanelli M. It largely anticipates the objections and misreading the volume and eponymous poem would be charged with.
However, as Stefanelli recalls, in her introduction to her volume on the Pocket Poets Series, the publication of many of the Beat-labelled poets alongside the commitment to the politics of dissent and the intellectual participation in innovative aesthetic tradition provided the background for the framework of engagement Stefanelli M. Moreover, the letters between Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti also testify to their mutual influence in disseminating and publishing Beat poetry Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg, If the Beats helped popularize poetry it is in its noblest sense by redefining the figure of poetry and of the poet in society.
Eventually, it also hinted to the fact that the combination in place and time, and over the years helped redefine cultural and poetic boundaries while partaking in creating two paradoxes: the first mainstream independent small press and the first mainstream countercultural literary movement. Dana, Robert ed. Epstein, Rob and Jeffrey Friedman, dirs.
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Robert Duncan in San Francisco (City Lights/Grey Fox)
Please try again. We apologize for the inconvenience. An envelope containing 26 cards, each printed with a mandala on one side, and with four words [one on each edge] on the reverse. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, The first printing consisted of copies, of which 40 were hardbound, numbered, and signed. There was a second printing in wrappers. Published as Writing San Francisco: Coyote, This expanded edition contains three essays not found in the publication: Phi Upsilon Kappa, Defense of Jayne Mansfield, and Reason. Also with a new preface. Milwaukee: Great Lakes Books, Contrary to what has been written elsewhere, the words in this book are solely those of Freewheelin Frank.
Flea , illustrated by Ernie Cefalu.
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, New York: Poets Press, The hors commerce copies were not numbered, but were designated with a star. Los Angeles: Love Press, London: Cape Goliard, Columbus, OH: Frontier Press, New York: Pierrepont Press, A deck of cards. A total of 28 cards including the cover, half-title, title page, deck of 24 cards, colophon. The cards are in a hinged plastic box, which is in a cream-colored silk drawstring bag with a white satin cord. Preceded by the privately published edition, New York: Phoenix Book Shop, Broadside in tube.
Sacramento: Runcible Spoon, . Though the pubisher calls this a 'pirate edition,' it was published with the author's blessing. Originally published in by Love Press. Total number published unknown; 30 copies were signed and numbered. Broadside, issued in a large bag labeled "Free," along with 8 broadsides by other contributors.
Michael Joseph Rumaker, Jr.
A pirated edition, limited to 50 copies. San Francisco: The Flash, . New York: Bantam, Mass-market paperback. San Francisco: Bruce Conner, New York: Delacorte, Lawrence, KS: Cottonwood Review, Issued for a reading. San Francisco: Cranium Press, Comb-bound in wrappers. London: Bonefold Imprint, .
Published for a reading on Berkeley: Sand Dollar, Berkeley: Arif Press, Cambridge: Pomegranate Press,