Monday, November 20, 2006

Black Widow Press

I heartily recommend that everyone check out Black Widow Press ( - they're publishing translations of European Modernists - Breton, Tzara, Eluard and others - as well as Clayton Eshleman and some other good stuff. Buy it all.

It is interesting that so many presses will publish modernist works in translation, but not contemporary work. I'm thinking for example of Copper Canyon which has published tons of Neruda books, but -as far as I can tell- no contemporary Chilean poets. New Directions has published Transtromer and Inger Christensen, but no contemporary Scandinavia poetry (Christensen and Transtromer are still alive it's true).

I'm not saying publishing these books isn't extremely valuable. I'm just thinking of why it is that there aren't more presses interested in what is happening now.

There are of course exceptions - Action Books (of course), Ugly Duckling, Zephyr Press, Green Integer and some others. Dalkey Archives certainly when it comes to Fiction.


Blogger CLAY BANES said...

i'm with you on black widow. exciting to see somebody does this lifting. eager to see the contemporary poets they publish.

re the (same) old stuff in translation, i'm sure it comes down to money, what publishers perceive will sell, recycling the same old names over and over again, because they think they'll move. surely a dead end. and we haven't even mentioned the crappier publishing arms endlessly refabricating rumi, rilke, et al.

p.s. somebody tell black widow to get into SPD. nevermind, i'll do it.

1:56 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home