Paris Press is Moving
Following an extensive search for an ideal home, I am thrilled and honored to announce that Paris Press is moving to Wesleyan University Press. In a few weeks, you will be able to order all Paris Press books from Wesleyan and their distribution company, University Presses of New England (UPNE).
Equally exciting, the Paris Press archives will be housed at Amherst College's Robert Frost Library Archives and Special Collections. This is another dream come true. We could not have hoped for a more perfect home for Paris Press's documents.
Stay tuned to the forthcoming issue of Textual Practice, edited by Catherine Gander, and entirely devoted to The Life of Poetry. An apt end to Paris Press's first chapter and the perfect beginning to its next one.
With gratitude and best wishes,
Jan Freeman, Founding Director
International Women's Day: Solitude of Self by Elizabeth Cady Stanton for you.
In honor of International Women's Day, Paris Press offers you a free pdf of the speech Solitude of Self. Email us at email@example.com and we will send you the speech to read aloud with your friends, community members, or family. Or to read in solitude for strength and inspiration.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Solitude of Self is as relevant today as it was when she presented the speech to Congress in 1892. Stanton, the often forgotten co-founder of the Women's Suffrage Movement, argues for equal education and equal rights for women of all ages, races, religions, and economic class.
We hope that you will also purchase a copy of our beautiful edition of the speech, a gift book that fits in a pocket or a purse for easy traveling and comfort in the days ahead.
Spiraling: Carla Drysdale
Paris Press is honored to publish Carla Drysdale's poignant poem "Chore" in Spiraling Poetry.
Carla Drysdale lives in France. Her books are Inheritance and Little Venus. Her poems appear in PRISM International, The Same, LIT, The Fiddlehead, and other journals. Pulitzer-prize winning composer David Del Tredici set her poem "New Year's Eve" to music.
Misty urban reads her story "a lesson in manners" from sisters: an anthology
Listen to the author read this poignant story about two twenty-something sisters coping with one sister's cancer diagnosis. Misty Urban beautifully captures the confusion, denial, anger, and acceptance within the sisters' changing relationship to each other and the people around them. Beginning on page 158 of Sisters: An Anthology, follow Misty Urban as she reads "A Lesson in Manners." Click here to listen!
Midnight Match offered to Paris Press tonight. Please contribute!
A generous donor has offered a Midnight Match for all contributions made to Paris Press by 11:59 p.m. tonight, New Year's Eve. Please support Paris Press and join our mission to publish daring and beautiful literature by women. Click the green donate button above. All contributions are tax deductible. We are so grateful to you our readers, the people who make it possible for the Press to exist. Wishing you a year of light and bountiful reading.
Spiraling poetry for the new Year: "Aretha Drops Her Coat to the stage" by Liz Ahl
Paris Press is thrilled to end 2015 and begin 2016 with Liz Ahl's fabulous poem that pays tribute to the great Aretha Franklin. Happy New Year to all of you who help Paris Press publish daring and beautiful literature by women.
Liz Ahl is the author of the chapbooks Luck, Talking About the Weather, and A Thirst That's Partly Mine, which won the 2008 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Contest. She lives in New Hampshire and teaches writing to undergraduates at Plymouth State University.
The Modern Language Association, 2016, The Life of Poetry
MLA will feature a panel on The Life of Poetry on January 7, 12:00-1:15 pm. (Re)Considering Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry. Rowena Kennedy-Epstein, Univ. of Bristol will preside, with Hadji Bakara, Univ. of Chicago; Elisabeth D. Däumer, Eastern Michigan Univ.; Catherine Gander, Queen's Univ. Belfast; Stefania Heim, Duke Univ.; Eric Keenaghan, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York; Cecily Parks, Texas State Univ.
The Life of Poetry is entering the canon!
Podcast of 2015 AWP conference panel: Teaching: The Life of Poetry and Muriel Rukeyser
Listen to Jen Benka, Jan Freeman, D (Dennis) Nurkse, Renée Olander, Tim Seibles explore and discuss approaches to teaching poetry using Muriel Rukeyser's 1949 classic The Life of Poetry as a foundation text. This panel is featured on the AWP website. Click here to listen!
Spiraling Prose: "Crickets" by Nan Parati
Paris Press is honored to publish the first prose publication in Spiraling. The Press is thrilled to receive submissions from writers all around the country for this new online publishing venue of poetry and prose. Please send your Spiraling submissions through Submittable. They are welcome year round!
September's Spiraling publication addresses the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the challenge of living in a time in which the news fills listeners with relentless human violence, cruelty, disaster, and natural disaster. Yet each individual finds ways to live with the daily bombardment of tragedy.
Author Nan Parati was a longtime resident of New Orleans, and moved to Ashfield, MA, after Hurricane Katrina. She poignantly captures the devastation of the natural world and its mirror in human behavior and experience. Click here to read Nan Parati's personal essay "Crickets."
Meet the Paris Press summer interns
Every summer for 20 years, Paris Press has been fortunate to have the assistance of interns from a variety of colleges from around the country. This summer both of the Press's interns were students from nearby Hampshire College. Victoria Briggs focused on the Press's many new film and video projects. Ralph Bousquet directed his attention to assisting the Press with social media and increasing our presence on Facebook, Twitter, and through this website. The office was filled with the energy of literary and technological exploration and accomplishment. The Muriel Rukeyser documentary pre-production is well underway, a new video, "Sister Speak," was edited and submitted to the Ashfield Film Festival, the Emily Dickinson reading was recorded (see below), past educational programs were uploaded onto the Eleanor Lazarus Educational Outreach Initiative page of this website, and many manuscript submissions and new book ideas were examined. Not a relaxing summer — but an extremely productive one. Paris Press thanks Ralph and Victoria for their generous contributions to the Press and its future.
A video of the call and response poetry reading at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Here is a video of the "call and response" poetry reading that the Emily Dickinson Museum requested Jan Freeman and Dickinson scholar Ellen Hart present at the Dickinson Homestead in August. Jan Freeman read her own poems and Ellen Hart read Emily's letter-poems and poems from Open Me Carefully in this moving collaboration. The arc of the call and response reflects the poets' passionate relationships with their beloveds, from courtship until death. Thanks to intern Victoria Briggs for taping and editing this video.
Puck Fair in County Kerry, Ireland! 8.10.15–8.12.15
Monday begins the oldest pagan festival of the goat, Puck Fair. This ancient celebration was first "officially" recorded and given legal status by King James I in 1613. One story claims that a lone goat warned the people of Killorglin that Oliver Cromwell and his roundheads were about to invade. The goat made it possible for the residents to prepare to protect their town.
If you are not attending Puck Fair this year, read Muriel Rukeyser's The Orgy, her memoir about traveling to Killorglin in County Kerry, Ireland, to research Puck Fair for documentary filmmaker Paul Rotha. Rukeyser told Rotha that a film about Puck Fair would ruin the sacred ancient celebration, and she published her account of her Irish journey in 1965. Banned in Ireland and published as a "novel" in the U.S. before it fell out of print, Paris Press reissued The Orgy as the memoir that Muriel Rukeyser intended it to be. Poet Sharon Olds contributed a Preface to the sumptuous account of revelry and human interactions. Travel to Ireland through this vivid and sensory experience. The memoir ends with the traditional release of Puck, the goat. Today marks the crowning of Puck, who will be honored until Wednesday and set free.
Passion's Arc: Emily Dickinson and Jan Freeman
In this unique "call and response" reading, Jan Freeman will present a selection of her poems with Ellen Louis Hart, co-editor of Open Me Carefully, reading Dickinson's intimate poems and letter-poems to Susan Huntington Dickinson. See PROGRAMS for details.
International Sisters Day
On August 2, sisters around the globe celebrated International Sisters Day. In honor of sisters everywhere, Paris Press posted many excerpts from Sisters: An Anthology on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, including Joan Baez writing about Mimi Farina, Joyce Armor's humorous poem "Sweet Dreams," and the Delany Sisters discussing each other and the experience of aging.
Happy anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention
In celebration of the Seneca Falls Convention on July 19, 1848, Paris Press sends gratitude to all the women who made this historical event possible. Three cheers to our foremothers and to all the women and girls who work to maintain women's rights in the U.S. and around the world today.
"The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself."— Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Solitude of Self, 1892.
Congress (yes it's true!) sent 10,000 copies of the speech, Solitude of Self, around the world in 1915, 13 years after Stanton's death.
Bryher's & H.D.'s Magical First meeting, July 17, 1918
Friday marked the anniversary of Bryher's and poet H.D.'s first meeting! A day that changed their lives and changed the Modernist movement as well. Here is Bryher's description from her memoir The Heart to Artemis. Bryher arrived to an invitation for tea at H.D.'s cottage, having memorized H.D.'s entire collection Sea Garden. The visit led to their lifelong literary and romantic relationship which lasted until H.D.’s death in 1961.
“It was July 17, 1918. . . . I wanted things to be real. I did not want to dream. The gorse was out, I was walking across some of the most ancient ground in Cornwall, I could hear the roar of the sea. I reached a cottage with the familiar, yellow covers of a dozen French books piled up against the window sill. I knew then that it must be the right place and knocked. . . . .” (pp. 216–217 The Heart to Artemis)
Happy Birthday, Pablo Neruda
In honor of the great poet's birthday, click here to read Muriel Rukeyser's poem "Neruda, the Wine," which she wrote for her friend. Rukeyser also translated work by Neruda into English. The Press is searching for those poems and welcomes your help in finding them.
A New taste of Paris Press's educational outreach programs
Click here, or use the media player below, to listen to Ruth Stone, Sharon Olds, and Kate Nugent read from Muriel Rukeyser's memoir, The Orgy. This recording is one of many programs the Press sponsored to educate the public about this important book. The Orgy, originally published as a novel, was banned in Ireland. It evokes Rukeyser's experience attending Puck Fair in County Kerry, Ireland. Puck Fair continues to be the last pagan festival of the goat.
Paris Press is adding links to our Lazarus Educational Outreach Initiative page to give you a taste of the events we sponsor throughout the U.S. We welcome your feedback.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Paris Press is including a striking new poem by Tanya Hyonhye Ko, "Heo Nanseolhean," about the 16th century woman poet.
Paris Press launched our new program, "Spiraling" on International Women's Day, Tanya Hyonhye Ko"s poems "Heo Nanseolhean," "Oxtail Soup," and "Grandmother Talking Camptowns" can be read at "A Blog: Spiraling."
Please visit "A Blog: Spiraling" to read Tanya Hyonhye Ko's poetry. It is an honor to feature her poems in Paris Press's first "Spiraling Poetry."
Paris Press is thrilled to begin this monthly feature of contemporary women's literature. All genres are considered for online publication through Submittable on this website.
The next selection for "Spiraling" will be announced during the AWP Conference at the Paris Press Booth 305 in the Bookfair.
Happy Birthday, Virginia Woolf!
Today is Virginia Woolf's birthday. It is such an honor to have published Woolf and her mother, Julia Stephen, in On Being Ill with Notes From Sick Rooms. As a special birthday present to all Woolf fans, read the letter that Virginia Woolf's great niece, Henrietta Garnett, wrote to Paris Press after she read our publication of On Being Ill in 2002. Henrietta Garnett granted the Press permission to use the beautiful Vanessa Bell cover that was created for the original Hogarth Press publication of On Being Ill in 1930.
Contemplating this unusual year
Joys of the Year: This year, was intertwined with the voices of Muriel Rukeyser, Julia Stephen, Virginia Woolf, Adrian Oktenber, Nora Ephron, Emily Dickinson, Zdena Berger, Audre Lorde, Jane Cooper, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many other great women. They offered transformative observations that are timeless in their poignancy and relevancy in our personal lives and the beauty and terrifying crises of our world.
Unexpected turns: This year took a few unexpected turns — joyful as well as challenging. The winter and spring of 2014 included facilitating a course in Literature and Medicine at Baystate Hospital, sponsored by MassHumanities. These inspiring discussions of poems, essays, and film leading to explorations of communications between patients and the medical world included individuals working in all capacities at the hospital. I, and Paris Press, greatly hope to continue these programs and public discussions in the future.
Following the AWP Conference in Seattle, and our return to MA, I experienced a severe concussion that had unfortunate consequences through the year. Because I was unable to read or look at a computer screen for prolonged periods of time, the Press "refocused" with the assistance of intern Natalie Wisehart from Smith College, a new web designer Dara Madaragnoli, administrative assistant Marsha Lieberman, and many members of the Press's Advisory Board including Barbara Alfange, Kathy Service, and Marya Zilberberg. Paris Press concentrated on launching our long-awaited website and blog; applying for grants for future and ongoing book, event, and film projects; and soliciting new manuscripts online, with the thrilling goal of publishing a new book in 2015. The Press also continued preliminary work on our Muriel Rukeyser documentary.
The Future of Paris Press
As director of Paris Press, I am indebted to all who assisted the Press during this challenging year. Paris Press thrives through community. To continue our essential work, The Press needs new volunteers in all capacities, new additions to the Board of Directors, and an additional part-time staff person to focus od social media and development. You are a part of our community, and we welcome you. I hope you will express yourself in the coming year and email me with your thoughts and ideas.
I thank everyone — named and anonymous — who have made this year possible. I wish you a new year filled with inspiration and cultural engagement — the often neglected food of our society.
With gratitude, Jan Freeman
For a more detailed account of this past year and our hopes for 2015, visit "A Blog: Spiraling."
Happy birthday, paris press! 19 years old
December 8 was Paris Press's birthday! 19 years old, 19 titles. One literary documentary film in the works. Solitude of Self by Elizabeth Cady Stanton is back to press for a new printing and now dedicated to the memory of the Grande Dame of Ashfield, Ruth Craft.
What an honor to publish great and groundbreaking literature by women. From overlooked work by the famous -- Virginia Woolf, Audre Lorde, Joan Baez, and Emily Dickinson's passionate letters and letter-poems to her primary reader and sister-in-law, Sue -- to lesser and unknown works of Catherine Chung, Bryher, Zdena Berger, Tsipi Keller, Misty Urban, Muriel Rukeyser, and Ruth Stone.
Please support the Press by tweeting, FB posting, and emailing birthday wishes with #UNSelfies holding a Paris Press book, quote, or picture of a Paris Press author. Or send an #UNSelfie of you holding a piece of paper with a favorite quote by a woman author. We'll post all the pictures on Wednesday, #ValleyGives Day, a special day supporting all nonprofit organizations in the Pioneer Valley.
We also hope you will donate to Paris Press through #ValleyGives (you can pre-schedule your donation for December 10 so that the Press is eligible for helpful cash prizes from the Community Foundation of Western MA).
Paris Press celebrates the BIG 19 thanks to the generosity of donors' cash and stock contributions and foundation grants. We also exist because interns, advisory board and board members, volunteers, and one part-time assistant help us in our daily tasks -- proofing, producing books, inputting data, addressing envelopes, researching courses and teachers at schools who can teach our books, and writing grants.
These are the leanest times in 19 years for the Press. Leaner than in 1995. We deeply appreciate you buying and reading PP books, submitting your manuscripts to be considered for publication, and contributing as generously as you can in any way to Paris Press.
As Paris Press moves into its 20th year in 2015, the Press pays special tribute to the memory of our two supportive Mentors in Publishing: Allan Kornblum of Coffee House Press and Sandy Taylor of Curbstone Press. Without their guidance over many years, Paris Press would not have reached its 5th birthday. Here's to passing on knowledge, to continuum, to great literature by women, and to independent presses who carry the torch of book publishing's future.
With deepest thanks,
Dangers of apathy
Post election, it's time to read Bryher's Visa for Avalon. As an introduction, check out Margaret Atwood's review and essay in The New York Review of Books, and Azar Nafisi's enthusiasm about the book -- placed right on the front cover, where it belongs. The dangers of apathy? We are living those dangers right now.
Alice Walker explains why #ArtsMatter. Vote for candidates who support funding for the arts!
#ArtsMatter and Paris Press encourage all of you to vote on Election Day. ArtsMatter asks everyone to reach out to candidates running for office. Encourage them to support funding for the arts. Here is Alice Walker in a 4-minute video, showing why arts, especially poetry, are vital in our communities and must be supported by our local, state, and national elected officials. Click on the link below!
Galway Kinnell, thank you
Paris Press is deeply grateful to Galway Kinnell, his generosity, his poems, his teaching, his deeply meaningful life that changed the lives of so many of us. We mourn his death and celebrate his life. We send our deepest condolences to his family and all who loved and admired him. It was an honor to host him and to thank him when he came to Ashfield last summer to read his poems in support of Paris Press.
Photo of Muriel Rukeyser
A heart-stop moment in early September. The New York Times published the obituary of photographer Lida Moser. In 1997, Director Jan Freeman had the first Northampton, MA, reading for the new edition of The Life of Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser. After the event in Neilson Library at Smith College, a woman in her seventies came up to Jan and said she'd known Muriel in NYC and had a photo that she wanted to show her. The woman, photographer Lida Moser, was moving to Maryland that week, and asked Jan to visit the next day....
Alice Walker on Muriel Rukeyser
Alice Walker speaks about her teacher, Muriel Rukeyser, when she was a student at Sarah Lawrence College. She reads passages from Rukeyser's essays in The Life of Poetry and recites her poem "Islands." Alice Walker talks about poetry as an essential part of her identity and her life. Thanks to Myra Paci for producing this poignant film for Paris Press.
Galway Kinnell Poetry Reading in Ashfield
A recording of Galway Kinnell reading in Ashfield's Saint John's Church last summer. His grandchildren joined him for recitations of Yeats, Keats, and Shelley. Thanks to Dave Gold for recording this special occasion.