Saturday, May 08, 2010


David Howard (Black Doris Press) and Roger Hickin (Cold Hub Press) are partnering with the American publisher Zephyr Press ( to present a table of New Zealand poetry at the 2011 Annual Conference and Bookfair of the US Association of Writers and Writing Programs. British poet and publisher Peter Riley once observed:

‘When it comes to poetry the [small press] category becomes illusory. The so-called     big publishers produce poetry books in very small editions, sometimes below 1,000....     The notion that some achievement in terms of public recognition is made when a poet is  taken on by one of these bigger presses is sadly mistaken: they are run on personal taste  and zone-preference like the rest. For the most part the only really commercial poetry publishing... concerns poets laureate, Nobel prize winners, and some popular     entertainers.’ [Small Press Poetry Catalogue 1, 1996]

What Riley said of Britain applies (minus the Nobel prize winners) to New Zealand. Still the university presses who creditably publish poetry here do have more marketing resources than their independent counterparts. So, with all due respect, this call is not for university presses; rather it is for publishers in the margins whose commitment to poetry deserves wider exposure.

David and Roger invite approaches from small press publishers of poetry who would like their titles to be represented at the AWP Conference in Washington DC, February 2-5 2011 (

Here is an attractive way to display your broadsheets, chapbooks, and full-length collections prominently alongside offerings from the likes of Copper Canyon Press and W.W. Norton & Company. Representatives from The New York Times and Granta will be at AWP 2011. So will agents, editors, and distributors. Small New Zealand publishers such as Gumtree Press and Seraph Press are already involved. If you would like your publications to be showcased then email David Howard:

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