Annual Letter 2018

Annual Letter 2018 text

If you came upon this page in another way and would like to subscribe to our email newsletter, click [here]


1 December 2018

*** Golias Books, Your One-Year-Old Baby ***

|   Greetings & Thanks   |   The Golias Blog: Year in Review   |   Prospectus Year 2   |
|  Fall 2018 Preorders  |  Spring 2019 Release  |  Call for Submissions  |



Dear friends and fellow-travelers,

As of the Ides of November, Golias Books is officially one year old, and we are truly and humbly thankful to those of you who supported our initial prerelease fundraiser; who came out to readings, bought merch, or attended the book launch parties in New York and Montreal; who bought books or talked about them with others or gave them as gifts throughout the year; and especially to Diana and Mark, whose work provided such a strong, lastingly valuable start to our catalog.

If you haven't bought either of the first two releases yet, or if you know someone who would like them as gifts, it's not too late to purchase copies in our store. Backlist titles are now only $12 + shipping when you purchase directly from us.

This is an anniversary letter of sorts, a casual annual report to recap our year and announce some future releases and events for 2019. As friends and supporters of the press we hope you don't mind an email update, but please also help us by forwarding this email on relevant listservs or to anyone else you think may be interested.


2018 in Review

First, a quick look back at some of what we got up to in 2018:

—In addition to the sales through our site, Golias Books have been carried and sold in two dozen bookstores in New York, North Carolina, California, Washington, Texas, Minnesota, D.C, Iowa, and Arizona; and have been acquired by institutions like the NYPL, Stanford, Notre Dame, NYU, Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and the Arizona Poetry center, among others.

—We attended, and slung our books at, the national AWP convention in Tampa and at the CLMP Lit Fest in NYC.

—We managed to become a real nonprofit with actual, legitimate paperwork.

—Press coverage and reviews for our books have appeared at The Poetry FoundationMichigan Quarterly Review, and Entropy; while Mark and Diana have *both* had new work featured in the BOMB print quarterly.

—Mark's How to Flit was published by the venerable Roof Books, and Diana's full-length God Was Right has just been released by Ugly Duckling.

—Other highlights include Mark in Canada, Diana in Mexico, a Golias tote in Berlin, a Harriet top-ten selectionHuman Heat at Printed Matter, and a romantic getaway in Vermont for the editors to begin preparing the slate for 2019.

We're pleased for such an affirming first year and grateful for your support. We hope to continue delivering more books of this caliber and ever-improving programming in the years to come. If you ever want to check in on things at the Golias blog, we try to keep news items like this at least semi-regularly-updated.


Prospectus Year 2

We have a lot planned for the upcoming year: most importantly, new releases!

We are debuting our first archival reissue, a selection of the works of Michael Field (the pseudonym of Victorian poets Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper), complete with a new foreword by Stacy Szymaszek; as well as two new full-length works by contemporary poets Shiv Kotecha and Ryan Dobran. We're excited to be sharing all three of these projects soon; please see more about each below.

Besides the ongoing editorial work (which is, to be honest, the real pride and joy here), our main goal for the coming year involves building the press's revenue, both to ensure its continued financial viability as an active and independent small press and to ever more effectively support the work of our authors and ensure their books reach as wide an audience as possible. To that end:

—First, we are in the process of partnering with nonprofit umbrella organization Fractured Atlas as a fiscal sponsor: this is a route that has been highly recommended by a number of peer organizations and one that will allow us to more easily solicit funding from other arts organizations and granting agencies without the administrative burden (donor databases and audits and so on) that such activities impose. With our current operating budget, funding here and there for even a few hundred dollars goes a very long way in supporting the publication of new work, and as we continue to grow we want to make it as easy as possible to receive and redistribute the kind of funding that such organizations provide.

—The second goal is to continue building upon our relationships with individual booksellers. Outside of a few niche bookstores, mostly in New York and the Bay area, it is difficult to connect with even that minority of booksellers who care about contemporary poetry. So: after casting a pretty wide net through our distributor in 2018, this year we'll focus more on cultivating the kinds of one-on-one relationships with individual stockists that we hope will give our books and our authors a place on their shelves for longer than just the most recent marketing cycle. As always, if you know of particular bookshops who would be interested in our work, please feel free to be in touch!


Michael Field preorders!

One of the foundational motivations behind the editorial project at Golias was to help revive great works of poetry whose contemporary value and relevance is too often limited to academic audiences, and we are excited to announce the first publication in this line, Precious against a Precious Thing: The Selected Poems of Michael Field, available today for preorders.

Composed over a century ago, the poetic worlds of Michael Field are as surprising, immersive, and breathtaking today as when they were written—as inventive as they are formally rigorous as they are deeply felt and lived. After more than a year of editorial preparation we are thrilled to finally be sharing this work, and we are also excited that the inimitable poet Stacy Szymaszek, former director of the Poetry Project, has contributed a lucid and inviting foreword to help ground the volume in our contemporary moment.

"Michael Field" was the shared pseudonym of Katherine Bradley (1846–1914) and her niece Edith Cooper (1862–1913), who lived together as lovers and collaboratively wrote some eight volumes of poetry and twenty-seven plays and whose poetry enjoyed both popular and critical success until their friend, the poet Robert Browning, let slip Field's true identity. While their early poetry displays strong aestheticist currents both formally and thematically, their later poems turn toward Symbolism and Catholic spirituality without ever straying from an idiosyncratic style that is somehow at once extravagantly precise and profoundly sensuous. The selection of poems in Precious against a Precious Thing spans their thirty-year collaboration and a wide range of formal gambits and registers, from erotic reconstructions of Sapphic verse fragments and ekphrastic reveries over Grand Tour oil paintings to theologically freighted odes, sonnets of rural retirement, and elegies to their beloved pet Chow Chow.

In her foreword, poet Stacy Szymaszek writes, “Field’s work is organized around body logic—experience, making a spectacle of one’s own life, beauty and giving pleasure. In the grips of our current political disaster, it may not carry a lot of weight to think one’s work is important for such things. Yet work that excites my mind-body helps remind me that I am an erotic being. When I proceed through life as my best erotic self, I am harder for the law to control. When I am harder for the law to control, i.e., making a spectacle of myself, others can see me. There is always the hope that Emily Dickinson expressed: ‘Are you nobody too?’ I step out of convention for community, and that action is the enemy of fascism.”

Preorders are available now at our online store, and we're offering free shipping from now until the end of the year. Despite our best efforts, and due to some of the pretty significant upheavals in the paper and printing industries this year, production schedules are backed up around the country and you will likely not receive these before 12/25. But you will receive them as soon as they arrive from the printer, and it will be worth the wait.

Please stay tuned, also, for some Winter 2019 events in both New York and North Carolina to celebrate the work and legacy of Michael Field.

Stacy Szymaszek is a poet, arts administrator, and teacher. She is the author of Emptied of All ShipsHyperglossia (both from Litmus Press), A Year from Todayhart island (both from Nightboat Books), and Journal of Ugly Sites and Other Journals (Fence Books), which won the Ottoline Prize and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. In 2014 she received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Szymaszek is a regular teacher at the Naropa University Summer Writing Program, a mentor for Queer Art Mentorship, and the 2018 Hugo Visiting Writer at the University of Montana. She was the executive director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church from 2007–2018.


2019 Releases: Ryan Dobran's Old Business

We are pleased to announce that we will be releasing a new full-length work in Spring 2019: Old Business, by Ryan Dobran.

Ryan Dobran's Old Business comprises four long poems: three chapbook-length works that have seen limited release by small presses in the UK—Story OneThe Meritocrat, and The Last Shyness—along with a suite of new poems published here for the first time. The volume represents an attentive, accretive phenomenology of the contemporary, of the widening gyre of modernity's immaterialization and its redoundings on the body. The four pieces represent a progression in Dobran’s work over time but are each in their own way equally finely tuned: both in the sense that each conceit is a sensitively calibrated instrument and that the resulting readings are crafted and critical, lacking didacticism and yet wryly, quietly instructive.

Old Business will be published in late Spring and will be available in advance for preorders.

Ryan Dobran lives in Philadelphia. He received his PhD in English from the University of Cambridge, and his poems have been published by Barque Press, Face Press, and Critical Documents. He is editor of The Collected Letters of Charles Olson and J. H. Prynne and is coeditor of J. H. Prynne's forthcoming Collected Prose.


The Future

We are a small press with few releases each year, but we'd like to extend an invitation during March and April 2019 to submit full-length poetry manuscripts for consideration. We tend to be interested in long poems and work that engages creatively with received forms and genres, but if you feel an affinity with the work we have published, please feel free to be in touch. We are especially interested in experiments in cosmological and didactic writing, as well as work by authors from underrepresented groups who can address traditional poetic forms from more expansive perspectives. Please feel free to share this email with friends and colleagues who you think may be interested or to contact us with ideas. See our website for details.

Thank you all once more for your support this year. If you don't have our books or would like to order some copies as a gift, please visit our online store. Preorders for the Michael Field volume are now open as well! If you are in a position to contribute to Golias Books in another way—with donations, administrative support, connections at local bookstores, support for our authors, or anything else—please don't hesitate to be in touch.

Happy anniversary, and to many more,

Lawrence Giffin
Chris Catanese
Golias Books


Subscribe to our mailing list [here] or follow us [here] on Instagram