Third Man Books Celebration

City Lights in conjunction with Litquake and Third Man Books present an evening packed with poetry and music, featuring readings by poets Sampson Starkweather, Paige Taggart, Janaka Stucky, Salena Godden, hosted by master of ceremonies Chet Weise, and with a special guest appearance by Ginny Stanford.

Third Man Books (the publishing imprint of Jack White’s Third Man Records) was at City Lights during Litquake to launch two new titles: PAIN: The Board Game by Sampson Starkweather and Hidden Water by Frank Stanford. Sampson Starkweather will be reading along with fellow TMB authors Paige Taggart and Janaka Stucky; editor Chet Weise will also be reading excerpts from Stanford’s work.


Third Man Books and Records: Where your turntable’s not dead, and your page still turns. Visit

Sampson Starkweather is the author of PAIN: The Board Game forthcoming from Third Man Books in 2015, and The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather. He is a founding editor of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press. His most recent chapbooks are Flowers of Rad by Factory Hollow Press, Flux Capacitor, a collaborative audio poetry album from Black Cake Records, and Until the Joy of Death  Hits, pop/love GIF poems forthcoming from Spork Press. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. Read his poems here.

Paige Taggart is a Northern Californian and currently resides in Brooklyn. Want For Lion is her first full-length collection. Her second book Or Replica will be published by Brooklyn Arts Press. She is the author of 5 chapbooks: Last Difficult Gardens (Horse Less Press),  DIGITAL MACRAMÉ (Poor Claudia) Polaroid Parade (Greying Ghost) and The Ice Poems (DoubleCross Press), and forthcoming I am Writing To You From Another Country; Translations of Henri Michaux (Greying Ghost Press). She earned her MFA from the New School and was a 2009 NYFA fellow. She works as a full-time jewelry production manager & additionally makes her own jewelry. Read some of her poems here.

Janaka Stucky is the author of The Truth Is We Are Perfect and the Publisher of Black Ocean as well as the annual poetry journal, Handsome. He is also the author of two chapbooks: Your Name Is The Only Freedom and The World Will Deny It For You. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in the Boston Phoenix. His website here.

Born in 1948, Frank Stanford was a prolific poet known for his originality and ingenuity. He has been dubbed “a swamprat Rimbaud” by Lorenzo Thomas and “one of the great voices of death” by Franz Wright. He grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, and then Arkansas, where he lived for most of his life and wrote many of his most powerful poems. Stanford died in 1978. He authored over ten books of poetry, including eight volumes in the last seven years of his life.

Here On the Edge

On the occasion of LITQUAKE 2014. City Lights in conjunction with LITQUAKE presented a panel discussion with Steve McQuiddy, Vladimir Dupre, and Steve Dickison (of The Poetry Center at SFSU) celebrating the recently released book, Here on the Edge by Steve McQuiddy, published by Oregon State University PressWaldport.

Here on the Edge is the story of how a World War II conscientious objectors camp on the Oregon Coast plowed the ground for the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. This evening explores a long-neglected element of World War II history: the role of pacifism and conscientious objection in what is often called “The Good War.” It focuses on one camp situated on the rain-soaked Oregon coast, Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp #56. As home to the Fine Arts Group at Waldport, the camp became a center of activity for artists and writers from across the country who chose to take a condition of penance (compulsive labor for refusing to serve in the military) and put it to constructive ends. After the war, camp members went on to participate in the San Francisco “Poetry Renaissance” of the 1950s, which heavily influenced the Beat Generation of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg—who in turn inspired the likes of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, leading the way to the 1960s radical upheavals epitomized by San Francisco’s “Summer of Love.”

Excerpt From West Coast Reviewing Panel

National Book Critics Circle in conjunction with City Lights and Litquake presents a panel discussion at City Lights Bookstore revolving around the world of West Coast reviewers, on October 9th, 2012.

Moderated by John McMurtrie of the San Francisco Chronicle, with Julie Cline of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Isaac Fitzgerald of The Rumpus, Dean Rader, columnist for San Francisco Magazine and Huffington Post, and Daniel Levin Becker of The Believer

Three decades ago, most book reviewing was done by local reviewers writing for local papers who picked books of national interest, but also books that spoke to the places they lived. As newspapers have shrunk or collapsed and online reviews have grown, how has book reviewing changed? Four west coast reviewers from both print and online venues  discuss their experiences supporting literary culture today. Julie Cline of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Isaac Fitzgerald of The Rumpus, Dean Rader, columnist for San Francisco Magazine and Huffington Post, and Daniel Levin Becker of The Believer will join in a panel moderated by the San Francisco Chronicle’s book editor, John McMurtrie

JOHN MCMURTRIE is book editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. His
writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, and the
Boston Globe.

JULIE CLINE is Senior Nonfiction Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. A California native, she lives in LA’s Echo Park.

ISAAC FITZGERALD has written for The Bold Italic, McSweeney’s, Mother Jones, and The San Francisco Chronicle. He is the managing editor of The Rumpus.

DEAN RADER’S Works & Days won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, and he appears in the 2012 Best American Poetry. He writes and reviews regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post.

DANIEL LEVIN BECKER is reviews editor of The Believer. His first book, Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature, was published by Harvard University Press in April 2012.

The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature. The NBCC was founded in April 1974 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, with founding members John Leonard, Nona Balakian, and Ivan Sandrof intending to extend the Algonquin round table to a national conversation. The NBCC gained 501(c)(3) status in October 2006, and in 2010 received an NEA grant to support the website and its literary blog, Critical Mass. The National Book Critic Circle Awards are issued each March and honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. These are the only national literary awards chosen by critics themselves. Visit:

City Lights would like to thank Tess Taylor and Oscar Vilallon for their hard work in making this evening a reality.