It seems that Ferlinghetti had read An Astonished Eye Looks Out of the Air by
Kenneth Patchen and had been impressed by the way in which the white paper label on the wrapper
had been used to cover over the staples on the spine of the book, providing both an aesthetic 'look' and a practical approach to
binding of a papercover book. This book was designed by Kemper Nomland Jr and published in 1945 by the Untide Press. Untide
Press operated from a conscientous objectors' camp in Waldport Oregon.
As you can see, this book, from 1945, is very similar in appearance to the City Lights Pocket
Poets series which first appeared in August 1955 with the publication of Lawrence Ferlingetti's
Pictures of a Gone World. These books, with their characteristic white on black (and
white on colour) covers have since become recognised worldwide as a symbol of City Lights.
Last updated 22 November 2002