Posts Tagged ‘Ugly Duckling Presse’

Experiments in publishing: On Ugly Duckling

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Over at the Brooklyn Rail, Jon Curley interviews Matvei Yankelevich of Ugly Duckling Presse, and a fascinating & inspiring conversation ensues. (I’ve just gotten the first stack of UDP books from my 2011 subscription & really it’s hard to know how to deal with such wealth—you kind of try to read everything all at once, and also to show everything to all your friends, then see what you’ve managed to keep them from borrowing, or rather what you managed to keep yourself from joyfully giving out, then start there, knowing the clock’s ticking and shipment number two will show up any day…)

Jon Curley (Rail): The UDP editorial board and its various production personnel operate as a collective. Can you detail the dynamics of this operation? What possibilities recommend themselves to this process? What are some of the difficulties of such an arrangement? This kind of cooperative seems a very Soviet-stylized ordering of function, in a positive sense. Given your personal background and some of your literary interests, is this intentional?

MatveiYankelevich: Okay, that’s a lot of questions. Let me start backwards: There’s nothing really intentional about it and there’s certainly nothing like a collective farm about it. Basically, it’s not like any communist or commune-like collective. Different people have different feelings of responsibility to the whole press or certain projects. I’ll back up: We started up with seven or eight people who wanted to start an exchange and decided to make books and the collective was a byproduct of that. So, the collective does not delegate anything—when people want to take things on, they take things on. There are 13 or 14 collective members now, some of whom are of the original collective, and there are also interns and everything happens independently. Different editors come up with different ideas and then, other people, whatever they think about the project, will help out. “I’ll help you with this or that, I’ll help bind that book.” It’s like people sharing a photography darkroom, which I guess is an outmoded example, but as with that, people share resources and everything becomes more streamlined in a shared-resource model. We don’t all agree on one aesthetic. It has been somewhat confrontational in the past in terms of choosing this or that, and it can get anarchic, but we all are guided by the principle that we’re not here to do commercial books or make money or profit. So there are certain things we agree on. I guess there’s a sort of de facto range of aesthetics and it’s very eclectic.

Read in full here!

This Tuesday at Schoen Books! Emily Toder & Dr. Pi

Monday, November 29th, 2010


On Tuesday, November 30, at 7:30 the wonderful Schoen Books in South Deerfield will be hosting an evening of new literature in translation, read by some of the Valley’s fantastic local translators. Emily Toder will read from Edgar Bayley’s The Life & Memoirs of Doctor Pi, and Nicholas Rattner and Marta del Pozo will read from Peruvian poet Yvan Yauri’s Fire Wind—forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse—and from Czar Gutierrez’s novel 80M83RD3R0. Please join us!

But why weren’t we in Brooklyn?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Up at the Mantle (thanks to Three Percent for the link), notes on the “Reading the World” international literature panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival this past weekend, which included Karen Emmerich (representing Archipelago), as well as folks from Ugly Duckling, Zephyr, and New Directions.  Looks just fantastic—I’ll include the bit on Karen here as a lead-in, with a note to say I’m lucky enough to have read the Vakalo translation she mentions, and indeed it’s wonderful:

Great stuff all around, an excellently curated panel. Every single one of the works presented is worth purchasing (skip the library and give these people some money!). … Karen Emmerich (representing Team Archipelago) read the poetry and prose from the Greek writer Miltos Sachtouris, skipping us across Aegean waters from Greek isles to ancient Greece. And then… Ms. Emmerich read an outstanding piece of poetry on the life of plant, by the poet/author Helenē Vakalo. The Mantle audience pleads for an answer—what is this poem and where can we find it? This vegetative poetic genius!?!?

[Keep reading here—]

Karen also read at Words Without Borders’ “Down and Dirty Round the World” event on Saturday, an evening of “of hard-boiled, pulpy, and erotic international literature” read by a great lineup of translators.  Karen reports she read from our soon-to-be-released The Sleepwalker—which has been one of those books that as you finish sending it to press you think, how did we get so lucky, that this strange and singular creature just came when we called?  Come to think of it, I think The Sleepwalker encompasses,  all of the above—the hard-boiled, the pulpy, the erotic—in one formidable, terrifying, beautiful hybrid.

All of which is to say—what a feast of a weekend!  Even if we weren’t there, how nice to catch something of the energy of it all even up here in this corner of Massachusetts…

This weekend in Amherst: the 10th annual Juniper Literary Festival

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

For those of you in the Valley, the Juniper Literary Festival is this weekend, with a great program honoring the ten-year anniversary of jubilat. Clockroot will have a wee bit of a table, honored to be elbow to elbow with a selection of truly fantastic poetry presses & magazines (see below), and other UMass MFA-program-related endeavors (one teaser: Microfilme magazine, dedicated to the preservation of writing that shouldn’t be read with the naked eye…). Come by!

Friday April 23

3:30 pm Eric Carle Museum: Antonio Frasconi Exhibit Tour: curator tours of the internationally acclaimed artist’s woodcuts, including works inspired by Pablo Neruda and W.S. Merwin

4:30 pm: Eric Carle Museum: Roundtable: On Poetry & The Visual Arts: Jen Bervin, Terrance Hayes, & Matthea Harvey, moderated by Jane Curley

6 pm: Fine Arts Center Lobby: Independent Journal & Book Fair Opening Reception

7:30 pm: University Gallery: Reading & Performance: Jen Bervin, Christian Hawkey, & Michael Teig, followed by the premier of a performance based on Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno,” staged by Missoula Oblongata

Saturday April 24

10:30 am: Fine Arts Center Lobby: Journal & Book Fair Continues

11 am: University Gallery: Roundtable: Poetry, Publishing, & the Pioneer Valley : the dreaming up, creating, & evolving of jubilat, Verse Press/Wave Books & Rain Taxi with Rob N. Casper, Matthew Zapruder, & Eric Lorberer, moderated by Dara Wier

12:30 pm: University Gallery: Roundtable: The Future of Poetry, Part II with Heather Christle, Cathy Park Hong, Evie Shockley, & Rebecca Wolff, moderated by Rob N. Casper

3 pm: Amherst Cinema Arts Center: Reading: Terrance Hayes, Caroline Knox, Dean Young, & Matthew Zapruder

Journal and Book Fair Participants Include

A Public Space, Action, Amherst Books, Adventures in Poetry, Aufgabe, Bateau, Black Ocean, Boston Review, The Canary, Canarium, Clockroot, Conjunctions, Factory Hollow Press, Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, Hobart, Jellyfish, jubilat, Kelly Writers’ House, Kenyon Review, Magic Helicopter, Massachusetts Review, Microfilme, Noo, Nor by Press, notnostrums, Now Culture, Open City, Paris Press, PennSound, Pilot Press, Pocket Myths, Poetry Northwest, Poetry Society of America, Publishing Genius, Rain Taxi, Schoen Books, Slope Editions, Small Beer Press, Thermos, Ugly Duckling Presse, Walser Society, Wave Books, Zephyr Press