Saturday, December 16, 2006
After a very busy year with Dedalus, which saw no less than four reprints as well as some eight new publications, including Wingspan: A Dedalus Sampler, and Gerry Murphy's End of Part One: New and Selected Poems, among others, the end of the year and the inevitable slow-down in the poetry publishing world are both very welcome.
One of the real difficulties of running a small poetry press, I have discovered this year, is just how little time there is to devote to the thing that got me interested in the business in the first place: reading poetry. Apart from all of the manuscripts, solicited and otherwise (mostly otherwise) that come across my desk, it's hard not to be able to drop the work-in-hand and reach for a book for no reason other than the possibility of pleasure. Still, I console myself by thinking that all of the year's improvements at Dedalus -- better distribution, better sales, better visibility in general -- can only help to ease the burden in the year to come.
Even so, it is more than ever clear to me now that the success of any small press, even one such as Dedalus which is effectively a one-person operation, relies on the co-operation and the interest of a large number of people, the authors themselves included. I have no doubt that there is still, despite what some will claim, a readership for poetry, but one has to jump through a few more hoops than in previous times to get to it. Speaking of which, anyone who comes across and likes what they see on the Dedalus website is warmly invited, in whatever small way, to help spread the word. Emails, fora (or forums, if you prefer), and all sorts of homepages and newsgroups are ways to let people know that Dedalus books are out there. And if you are reading this blog posting, then you are, like myself, someone who believes that bringing readers and poetry together is crucial.
And speaking of bringing readers and poetry together, among the new titles scheduled for publication in the first part of 2007 are new collections from Gabriel Rosenstock (the bilingual Bliain an Bhandé / Year of the Goddess), Gerard Smyth (The Mirror Tent), Mary O'Donoghue (Durer's Green Passion), Francis Harvey (Collected Poems) and two new Peppercanisters from Thomas Kinsella. If you haven't already done so, please consider adding your name to the mailing list at www.dedaluspress.com to keep up to date.
Posted by PB at 6:15 PM