By Robert Dana
Opposed to the Grain is a suite of interviews with 9 small press publishers, every one characterised by way of energy of get to the bottom of and a commitment to strong books. every one press displays, probably extra at once than any huge alternate writer may, the nature of its founder; and every has earned its personal position within the decide upon staff of vital small presses in the United States. This assortment is the 1st of its sort to discover with the publishers themselves the old, aesthetic, sensible, and private impulses at the back of literary publishing. The publishers incorporated are Harry Duncan (the Cummington Press), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (City Lights), David Godine (David R. Godine), Daniel Halpern (the Ecco Press), Sam Hamill and Tree Swenson (Copper Canyon Press), James Laughlin (New Directions), John Martin (Black Sparrow), and Jonathan Williams (the Jargon Society). Their ardour for books, their trust of their person visions of what publishing is or can be, their encouraged mulishness crackle at the web page.
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Extra info for Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers
Among Pound's "stuff" were many translations of the work of Paul Morand, a French writer Ezra admired. I was given copies by Bill Cagel of the Lilly Library and sent them to Dan, asking him if he would look at them and see if they were something he could use in his magazine, Antaeus. I have a high regard for Ecco. I don't care for all their books. I'm very limited in the poets I like. I think this is the result of having been under the influence of three truly great poets: Williams, Pound, and Thomas.
DANA: And he was reading your work. LAUGHLIN: Yes, but without much enthusiasm. DANA: Right. And he did say to you, "Well, I don't think that you should go on with this. " LAUGHLIN: How wise he was. James Laughlin 37 DANA: Well, perhaps you'd advise young writers in creative writing courses to go into publishing instead. LAUGHLIN: No, I think they should ... DANA: Stop writing. LAUGHLIN: I think that if they are real writers, they are going to write, and they are going to find out how to write from reading good books.
DANA: And you trusted his judgment? LAUGHLIN: Oh, absolutely. DANA: Why? LAUGHLIN: Well, he was so learned and such a good poet. DANA: Well, that's two good reasons. LAUGHLIN: No, he knew everything. He's an autodidact. He's read everything, and he has a photographic memory. He can remember everything that he ever read and can relate it to something else. DANA: I've always regarded it as a professional disaster that our paths never crossed. LAUGHLIN: He's a marvelous person. He's a very crotchety kind of person.
Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers by Robert Dana