The Pocket Poets Series

Art Direction | Photography | Illustration | Personal Project | In-Progress

Published by City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, co-founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953, the Pocket Poets Series is a collection of poetry books featuring avant-garde poets of the past century.


I picked up my first two Pocket Poets books, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems in a used bookstore as a teenager. Nearly a decade later, I am revisiting the series and reading my way through the 60+ volumes, reacquainting myself with poets I read in my youth and discovering many new (to me) poets along the way. 

As I read through the series, I am creating a cover based on the playful titles of each volume with one rule to guide my design: each cover must include an inset rectangle in some form, a nod to the distinctive original cover designs. Below are the first three.


Original Covers