SMALL PRESSES: EXHIBITION
The Small Presses highlights eleven publishers from the United States and Canada producing works, often of
an experimental nature, which we believe deserve a larger audience.
From .pdf files to saddle-stitched chapbooks, compact discs to Xeroxed and stapled pamphlets, the works in the show represent a selection of some of the best work being printed and reprinted, recorded and distributed, within a field, embracing poetry and prose, that we'll loosely, and for the meantime, term : language works.
Although small as a consequence of limited print runs, advertising budgets, and access to the market, these presses have introduced us, nonetheless, to some of the most exciting contemporary works we have encountered.
The range of tendencies (schools, movements, etc.) that can be found in the show is broad. From the spare lyrical observations in Pam Rehm’s “Small Works” to the prolix, (in)coherence of K. Silem Mohammed’s “Breathalyzer”, from the series of pamphlet reprints by Primary Information to the contemporary appropriations of Veneer, from Gregory Betts’ tirelessly anagrammatic, “If Language” to Douglas Rothschild’s political, quotidian aesthetic, we hope to have included a sampling of what is current in current small press publications.
Also, and importantly, a number of generations and languages are present. Aerial 6/7, by Edge Books, contains a generous selection of works by and a long interview with John Cage, whose influence informs a number of other writers whose work can be found in the show. “The Russian Version” by Elena Fanailova, brings a large selection of work by this great, contemporary Russian poet into the English language for the first time.
We’d like to close by saying the selection of works in this show is our own and represents a small part of what each of these presses has produced. Additionally, many of these presses rely on subscription orders by individual readers to continue their operations, since many of the books are not available in ordinary bookshops. While we are very proud to present these works, and hope you will want to own a few of them, we also hope you will become regular supporters of these presses, either by requesting that your local bookshop carry their works, or by writing to become a subscriber.
Tim Johnson and Caitlin Murray