Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Directions Poetry Pamphlets: 1–4


A lot of publishers release E-mail newsletters, and I find them a great source of information, although not always relevant to the material I post on The Parrish Lantern, they are, generally, of enough interest to make it worth the signing up. Then sometimes you hit jackpot and you receive something that is totally of interest – for example New Directions has announced the publication of a new series of Poetry Pamphlets, a reincarnated version of the “Poet of the Month” and “Poets of the Year” series published by  James Laughlin in the 1940s. These were responsible for such eclectic hits as William Carlos Williams’s The Broken Span, Delmore Schwartz’s poetic play Shenandoah, and Yvor Winters’s Giant Weapon, amongst many others. The new New Directions Poetry Pamphlets aim to highlight original work by writers from around the world, as well as those forgotten treasures lost in the cracks of literary history.

The first four collections in the series will be winging their way to the stores at the end of March. In the group are:

Two_American_Scenes_1_134_201_c1_smart_scaleTwo American Scenes, by Lydia Davis & Eliot Weinberger

Two remarkable prose stylists — friends since high school — transform found material from the nineteenth century into mesmerizing poem-essays.



Sorting Facts, or Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker, by Susan Howe

Poetry and cinema collide in Susan Howe’s masterful meditation on the filmmaker Chris Marker, whose film stills are interspersed throughout, as well as those of Andrei Tarkovsky.








The Helens of Troy, New York, by Bernadette Mayer

Profiles of all the women named Helen in Troy, NY, with poems and images, mixing the classical with the ordinary and delightful intelligence with irreverence.



Pneumatic Antiphonal, by Sylvia Legris

A fun, humming, bio-physiological word-whizzing flight into birdsong penned by the young Canadian poet Sylvia Legris — her first publication in the U.S.


More details, including how to purchase these pamphlets can be found on the individual links above. You can also, if so interested, purchase the complete set at a discount here.


New Directions, was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914 - 1997), then a twenty-two-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. "I asked Ezra Pound for 'career advice,'" James Laughlin recalled. "He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do 'something' useful." Intended "as a place where experimentalists could test their inventions by publication," the ND anthologies first introduced readers to the early work of such writers as William Saroyan, Louis Zukofsky, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Kay Boyle, Delmore Schwartz, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Merton, John Hawkes, Denise Levertov, James Agee, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Soon after issuing the first of the anthologies, New Directions began publishing novels, plays, and collections of poems. Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, who once had difficulty finding publishers, were early New Directions authors and have remained at the core of ND's backlist of modernist writers. And Tennessee Williams first appeared as a poet in the early Five Young American Poets.



Suko said...

These pamphlets do sound as if they'd be full of wit and whimsy. Helens of Troy, NY--too funny--and each of these sounds unique and "readable".

stujallen said...

these sound great and maybe just right for some one like me that isn't a huge poetry reader I like helen of troy cover ,all the best stu

Brian Joseph said...

What a great idea to revive this concept and what a great ideas for collections. I really like the Helen of Troy's concept.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

More, more, more. Where do I sign up?

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

These poetry pamphlets that I have heard of for the first time do seem interesting and witty and I'll be looking forward to your reviews should you decide to write about them. "...forgotten treasures lost in the cracks of literary history" well said! Poetry is a reminder there's much more to literary writing than prose.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Suko, in total agreement with you, definitely worth checking out more.

Hello Stu, yes a great way to dip your toe in the water & see if you'd like more.

Hi Brian, yes the idea was well worth breathing life into,let's hope it turns into something as successful

Hi Deb, any one of the above links will take you there

Hello Prashant, Hopefully will do so at some point. Would love to learn more.