1. Education

Poetry Publishers

Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble aren’t the only booksellers online—look here for online access to the independents, the underground, the hard-to-find sources of poetry books and recordings, as well as the big traditional poetry publishers.

“One Person with Big Soul and Talent, Tiny Bucks,” Big Fat Press
An email interview with Anne Elliott, a terrific poet and the publisher/editor of Big Fat Press.

“Poetry in a Time of Fire,” PressPress
Chris Mansell writes about why she started PressPress and how she’s gone about becoming an independent Australian small press poetry publisher.

“Poetry You Can Actually Read,” Zeitgeist Press
An email interview with Bruce Isaacson, founder and publisher of Zeitgeist Press, an independent small press that rose out of the San Francisco Bay area spoken word scene of the 1980s.

Am Here Books
Am Here's entire catalog has made its way online at the Advanced Book Exchange (an online network of indie booksellers) & it's a great source of poetry since 1945 -- books, broadsides, anthologies & little mags.

Black Sparrow Books
For 36 years, Black Sparrow published “the original, the counter-cultural, the avant-garde, and the overlooked,” cultivating a list that included many of the very best poets of the West Coast & beyond, beginning with Bukowski & on to Diane Wakoski, Clayton Eshleman & Wanda Coleman. In 2002, John Martin closed up shop & sent his back list to David R. Godine.

Black Moss Press
Cited by Quill & Quire as “one of Canada’s most important literary presses,” Black Moss Press has been publishing poetry, anthologies, short stories, fiction and sports literature for 40 years. Their publications include the Palm Poets collectors’ series, several themed anthologies and “First Lines,” first books by new Canadian authors.

Book Zen
Incredible Librarian, Inc.’s site flies by.... It’s not a publisher, it’s not a bookseller, it’s Book Zen, the direct link between small presses, writers & readers.

John Buschek’s BuschekBooks is a micro publishing company in Ottawa, Canada whose list includes Canadian fiction, poetry and translations by Canadians.

Calaca Press
Calaca Press, “dedicated to publishing, producing and promoting Raza writers and artists whom the main publishing companies choose not to publish,” is steadily adding publications to its poetry list of both books & spoken word CDs.

City Lights Publishers
Wandering through City Lights’ site is almost as good as browsing through the Columbus Avenue bookstore on a rainy San Francisco afternoon: all their recent releases, forthcoming publications and a complete catalog are here, and you can leaf through their subject and author collections, including Beat literature, Bukowski, Surrealism and of course poetry.

Contemporary American Poetry Archive
Wendy Battin, Charles Hartman, & their helpers at Connecticut College’s CAPA are providing a very heartening service: an Internet archive of out-of-print poetry books in text-only format. For instance, Edwin Honig’s Time and Again: Poems 1940 - 1995 is now online for the reading, even as he has struggled to find a publisher for this massive collection.

Copper Canyon Press
Copper Canyon Press truly is the premier U.S. publisher devoted exclusively to poetry. Their author list speaks for itself: Pablo Neruda, Thomas McGrath, Lucille Clifton, Carolyn Kizer, W.S. Merwin, Su Tung-p’o, Hayden Carruth, Denise Levertov, Kenneth Rexroth, Olga Broumas, David Lee...

Curbstone Press
Curbstone Press published “books that make a difference” for more than 20 years under the slogan “Poetry, like bread, is for everyone.” Their catalog is full of riches, poetry collections from the likes of Devorah Major, Margaret Randall, Martín Espada and Jack Hirschman—but because their publishing assets were incorporated into Northwestern University Press in 2009, you will have to look there for books under the Curbstone imprint.

Cyclops Press
This new Canadian publisher of books & spoken word CDs offers lots of samples on its site: iPod video clips from Clive Holden’s Trains of Winnipeg “film poems” & a collection of mp3s, as well as a catalog of their books & other multimedia productions.

Daedalus Books Online
Daedalus is the best of the mail-order catalogs of remaindered books — their books are carefully chosen, their blurbs intelligent and entertaining. At their Web site you can read their catalogs online, or sign up to get their paper catalog by mail for reading at your leisure.

Duration Press
International poetry from a press which maps the multiplicitous worldwide contemporary poetry landscape in its print chapbook series, its e-chapbooks & its online archives of poetry books published elsewhere in print. Beyond all this, Duration also hosts a whole host of publishers of new writing on the Web.

Eastgate Systems Poetry Catalog
Eastgate Systems, Inc. is “serious hypertext” cubed, offering software tools, the HypertextNow journal & this catalog of disk works by such poets as Stephanie Strickland, Robert Kendall & Deena Larson.

Futurepoem Books
Dan Machlin’s Futurepoem Books describes itself as “a New York City-based publishing collaborative” (note: not collective) “dedicated to presenting innovative works of contemporary poetry & prose by both emerging & important underrepresented writers.” Ann Lauterbach & Charles Bernstein are the advisory board, so naturally the poets on Futurepoem’s list are an interesting & varied set of voices.

Green Integer Books
Green Integer publishes a great series of small-format paperbacks, “new works by contemporary artists... important but overlooked works by some of history’s greatest writers, and... significant international works which have never before been published in English.” Among their poetry titles are Vítêzslav Nezval’s Antilyrik & Other Poems and Willis Barnstone’s translation of Sappho.

Granary Books
Granary Books’ site epigraph says it all: “A book should be a ball of light in one’s hands.” (Ezra Pound) Lots of good things are in their list of “Original and authentic” new books. Or you can search their inventory of out-of-print & rare poetry books, little mags & artists' books at Advanced Book Exchange.

HarperCollins Publishers
Despite their severe recent cutbacks, HarperCollins is still an imprint to look to for some wonderful poetry, from Ginsberg’s Selected Poems 1947-1995 to Coleman Barks’ Essential Rumi and Jane Hirshfield’s beautiful & illuminating collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry.

Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press publishes a great deal of poetry criticism (most notably, the books of Helen Vendler) and lots of poetry, too (a new variorum edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems and the complete poems of John Keats). But poetry is no longer a category in their subject index, so the poetry books are hard to find in the catalog.

Knopf Poetry Center/The Borzoi Reader
Opened on the Web in celebration of National Poetry Month 1999, the Knopf Poetry Center has a complete catalog of poetry published under Random House imprints.

KotaPress is a Seattle-based independent press offering a quarterly online journal, semi-annual anthology contests (completely free and legit!), poetry titles available thru their eStore, and grief support through the Mrs. Duck Project in partnership with Seattle M.I.S.S.

Little Red Books from Lummox Press
Since 1998, Raindog has been putting out this pocket-size series of books by such poets as A.D. Winans, Bill Shields & Gerald Locklin.

Louisiana State University Press
LSU Press publishes a good amount of poetry, including books in the National Poetry Series and the winners of the American Academy of Poets’ Walt Whitman Award. Authors on the LSU list include Kelly Cherry, Lisel Mueller and Miller Williams.

Manic D Press
Jennifer Joseph’s Manic D Press is the San Francisco Bay area prominence among underground publishers. Her poetry list includes books by Jeffrey McDaniel, Kimi Sugioka, Sparrow 13 Laughing Wand, Juan Felipe Herrera, Beth Lisick, Justin Chin, Matt Cook & Eli Coppola.

Milkweed Editions
Minneapolis-based Milkweed Editions is a nonprofit literary press “publishing with the intent of making a humane impact on society” & known for its poetry list, which includes individual collections by poets such as Pattiann Rogers, Pablo Neruda, Ángel González & Lewis Hyde, as well as a number of topical anthologies.

National Poetry Foundation Catalog
Originally established by Carroll Terrell as a center for Pound scholarship, the National Poetry Foundation is housed at the University of Maine and has expanded its focus “to include the entire tradition of innovative poetry from modernism to the present day.” NPF publishes poetry as well as scholarly books and journals.

North American Native Authors Catalog
Joe Bruchac, the poet behind so many great Native American writing projects, brought the real history of the Land to the Net in the North American Native Authors Catalog, whose mission is “to make heard the voices of Native people on their own terms.”

Northwest Passages: Canadian Literature Online
Northwest Passages’ virtual bookstore has a comprehensive poetry section, where you can browse through anthologies, experimental poetry, “First Nations” poetry, translations from French to English and vice versa, and more.

O Books
O Books’ online catalog of “innovative work” includes such finds as Carla Harryman’s Memory Play, Robert Grenier’s Phantom Anthems & Ted Berrigan’s A Certain Slant of Sunlight.

Richard Hansen’s 24th Street Irregular Press in Sacramento, California publishes this series of tiny booklets to be “scattered around town — on buses, trains, cabs, in restrooms, bars, left along with the tip, stuffed into a stranger’s back pocket...” or mailed on request for the cost of postage. Bravo!

Potes & Poets Press
Potes & Poets publishes experimental poetry by the likes of Ivan Arguelles, Sheila E. Murphy and Leslie Scalapino—visit their Web site to browse titles and poets, and then go to Small Press Distribution to order them.

Chris Mansell’s PressPress publishes “poetry in a time of fire” in Australia, and it’s the model for independent small publishing ventures in the new millennium: good looking books of good poetry printed on demand and distributed online.

Princeton University Press Poetry Catalog
Look here to order books of poetry & criticism from Princeton University Press, including work by Aeschylus, Alicia Ostriker, Robert Pinsky, C.P. Cavafy & Ann Lauterbach. Lots of good translations, too.

Pudding House Publications
Pudding House has a long list of chapbooks in print, by many fine poets including Steve Abbott, Susan Terris, Will Inman and Stephanie Mathews, as well as a number of anthologies and resources for poets on its Web pages.

Sarabande Books
Sarabande Books is a nonprofit literary press committed to quality book design & keeping their titles in print in order to provide “a real home” for their writers. They also sponsor the annual Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry & a special project for teachers & students, Sarabande in Education.

A Small Garlic Press
Since 1995, A Small Garlic Press has been busy publishing a series of $2 chapbooks (there are 25 now in print), a bunch of online broadsides (mostly in Adobe Acrobat PDF format) & Agnieszka’s Dowry, a very fine e-zine.

Small Press Distribution
SPD is “the only wholesaler in the country devoted exclusively to independently published literature” & now their entire catalog is searchable online. If you don’t know what you want to read but you do want intelligent recommendations, keep an eye on their SPD Recommends & Bestselling Poetry pages. Secure online ordering, & it’s the place to look for poetry you can’t find anywhere else.

Soft Skull Press
Soft Skull Press has a store full of goodies like Cynthia Nelson’s crunchy, winning story-poem collection, The Kentucky Rules, Tracie Morris’ premiere print collection, Intermission, & Antler’s Selected Poems.

Spineless Books
William Gillespie (of Newspoetry fame) founded Spineless Books on 20.02.2002, and as you might expect, first on its publications list is 2002: A Palindrome Story. Spineless Books emphasizes “collaborative writing, formal experimentation, and utopian thought.”

Talonbooks began as a high school lit zine in Vancouver, whose editors brought it with them to the University of British Columbia and beyond—it has been publishing “works of national and international excellence, whose authors happen to be Canadian” for 30 years now and its authors include such luminaries as bpNichol, bill bissett and Adeena Karasick.

Tilt-A-Whirl Press
Jordan Green and Mark Stosberg’s Tilt-A-Whirl Press is no longer active, but this site preserves generous selections from its anthology Blue Collar Boom and from Ron Whitehead’s work, including all the cuts from his CD, Tapping My Own Phone, in RealAudio.

Tupelo Press
Tupelo Press has been publishing books since 2001 by poets whose names you may or may not know, like David Hernandez, Annie Finch, Catherin Daly & Ilya Kaminsky. “What we look for is a blend of urgency of language, imagination, distinctiveness, and craft. What we produce and how we produce it — from design to printing to paper quality — honors the writing...”

Ugly Duckling Presse
Ugly Duckling Presse is a Brooklyn haven for lovers of handmade art books and, in its collaboration with the Loudmouth Collective, for “works off paper: these may be performed, or they may exist on digital video, CD, or tree bark.” Lots of interesting projects & objects in their catalog.

University of Chicago Press
Read excerpts from the books of poets like W.S. DiPiero, Susan Hahn, Robert Polito or critics like Marjorie Perloff, then order copies online.

Wesleyan Poetry Series
From Wesleyan University Press, this is the place to look for work by Heather McHugh, William Dickey and Sandra McPherson.

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