City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in conjunction with Litquake present
a Gala Celebration of a quintessential American publisher
with appearances by: Willis Barnstone, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Denise Newman, Michael Palmer, Katy Silver, Declan Spring, Nathaniel Tarn, and special guests
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. Publishing influential foreign writers in translation, (often in bilingual editions), New Directions has been largely responsible for America's interest in Céline, André Gide, Apollinaire, Yukio Mishima, Italo Svevo, Tommaso Landolfi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Kafka, Octavio Paz, Eugenio Montale, Lorca, Nabokov, and most recently W.G. Sebald, Javier Marías, Roberto Bolaño, Inger Christensen, Uwe Timm, Yoko Tawada, Antonio Tabucchi, Bei Dao, and Victor Pelevin. And from Britain — E.M. Forster, B. S. Johnson, and H. E. Bates. New Directions now publishes about 30 books annually in hardcover and paperback. It remains a vital force in the world of American letters. visit: www.ndpublishing.com
Willis Barnstone is a poet, translator, and memoirist. He has translated poets from the the Ancient Greek and is also a New Testament and Gnostic scholar.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a poet, painter, den-mother to the Beat Generation, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. He has authored poetry, translation, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration. He is best known for his bestseller A Coney Island of the Mind and for publishing the legendary Beat classic HOWL, by Allen Ginsberg.
Michael McClure is one of the movers and shakers of the Beat Generation. He is a poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. He read at the famous San Francisco Six Gallery reading in 1955. He is the author of numerous books of poetry and has collaborated on music projects with the likes of Terry Reilly and Ray Manzarek of The Doors.
Denise Newman is a poet and translator. She is the author of three collections of poems. She translated The Painted Room by the Danish poet Inger Christensen, and her translation of Azorno, also by Christensen, was published by New Directions in 2009. Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Volt, Fence, New American Writing, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere.
Michael Palmer is a poet and translator. He has worked extensively within contemporary dance and has collaborated with numerous composers and visual artists. Palmer is the author of ten books of poetry, including Company of Moths, Codes Appearing: Poems 1979-1988, The Promises of Glass, and several others. He has published translations from the French, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese.
Katherine Silver is an award-winning translator of Spanish and Latin American literature. She has translated plays, screenplays—some for major motion pictures—and a wide assortment of academic and other non-fiction books. She also works as an editor and publishing consultant for trade, academic, and literary presses. Her most recent and forthcoming translations include works by Daniel Sada, Horacio Castellanos Moya, César Aira, and Carla Guelfenbein.
Declan Spring is Vice President and Senior Editor at New Directions Publishing.
Nathaniel Tarn is poet, translator, essayist, and anthropologist. He has translated the work of Neruda and Segalen and is the author of numerous books of poetry, criticism, and anthropology. His published works include Ins and Outs of the Forest Rivers, Recollections of Being, Selected Poems: 1950-2000, and many, many others