Poetry News

Introducing the Reincarnated Poetry Pamphlet Series from New Directions

By Harriet Staff


We're happily stunned by New Directions's first series of Poetry Pamphlets--Bernadette Mayer mentioned The Helens of Troy, New York (for which she won a Creative Capital grant), in a recent interview; and we wrote about the Susan Howe pamphlet reprint of her Chris Marker piece, Sorting Facts, or Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker, upon Marker's death--but let's give you a better idea of the scope of this thing. From the release:

New Directions is happy to announce the publication of a new series of Poetry Pamphlets, a reincarnated version of the “Poet of the Month” and “Poets of the Year” series James Laughlin published in the 1940s, which brought out such eclectic hits as William Carlos Williams’s The Broken Span, Delmore Schwartz’s poetic play Shenandoah, John Donne’s Some Poems and a Devotion, and Yvor Winters’s Giant Weapon, among many others. The New Directions Poetry Pamphlets will highlight original work by writers from around the world, as well as forgotten treasures lost in the cracks of literary history.

Pamphlets 1-4 include the aforementioned by Mayer and Howe, as well as Two American Scenes: Our Village & A Journey on the Colorado River, by Lydia Davis & Eliot Weinberger (friends since high school!); and Pneumatic Antiphonal, by Sylvia Legris; and are to be published this month. And as you can see, the press is true to its word on the original work--more about the latter is that it is "[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."

The theory of corpuscular flight is the cardinal premise
of red birds carrying song-particles carrying oxygen.
Erythrocytic. Sticky. Five quarts of migration.

Doesn't hurt that the pamphlets are gorgeous. See the bundle-buying options here. We're looking forward to the devouring!