Primordial Vibration: An Interview with Will Alexander

Posted by Elizabeth Bryant on November 30, 2014

Will Alexander is a polymath. A celebrated poet, musician, and visual artist, he is also an autodidactic scholar and philosopher.  His work incorporates ideas from metaphysics, non-Euclidian mathematics, music theory, and politics, recomposing them into something poetical and personal...

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A Desk in Moscow

Posted by Jenny Erpenbeck on November 17, 2014

Moscow Metro ca. 1940 / Photographer unknown   "A Desk in Moscow" is an excerpt from Jenny Erpenbeck's The End of Days translated by Susan Bernofsky, which hit bookstores on Tuesday. The official book launch is 7 pm tonight at McNally Jackson, New York.    A woman sits...

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Peter Cole and Susan Howe at McNally Jackson

Posted by Mieke Chew on November 12, 2014

Last Tuesday at McNally Jackson, New Directions and The Poetry Society presented readings from two of America's greatest living poets: Peter Cole and Susan Howe.  The event began at 7 pm. At five to seven, a small group including Peter and Susan were chatting at the cafe upstairs while a...

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100 years of James Laughlin: a celebration of his life and work

Posted by Mieke Chew on October 29, 2014

One hundred years ago today, on October 30, 1914, James Laughlin—poet, heir to a steel fortune, and the founder of New Directions—was born. The story of New Directions begins when young Laughlin asked Ezra Pound for career advice. Pound told him to give up on poetry and "do...

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100 years of Dylan Thomas: a look through the New Directions archive

Posted by New Directions on October 23, 2014

Today is the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. Yesterday a live reading of Under Milk Wood, his "radio play for voices," was performed in New York City. First commissioned by the BBC and broadcast in 1954, it has been performed by Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Tom Jones,...

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A Bass Cathedral Discography and Mix

Posted by Nathaniel Mackey on October 22, 2014

From left to right: Archie Shepp, John Coltrane, and producer Bob Thiele  Impulse! studios, 1964 * * *  As a teenager in the early 1960s, I wrote a short story called “But Not for Me,” inspired by and written while listening to Ahmad Jamal’s album Live at the Pershing:...

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Postcard from Sebald

Posted by Mieke Chew on October 22, 2014

This postcard was sent from W. G. Sebald to Barbara Epler after she accepted his LA Times Best Fiction Book award in 1999.    1. Friday 2 July 1999 Dear Barbara, Thank you so much for having the Hollywood limelight for me & for your wonderful account of the proceedings. Had...

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Siegfried Lenz

Posted by Mieke Chew on October 8, 2014

The wonderful German writer Siegfried Lenz died yesterday in Hamburg. He was 88. Breon Mitchell, in his introduction to Lenz's Selected Stories, remembers the writer's acceptance speech for the 1989 Heinz Galinski Foundation Prize: "Lenz spoke again of memory and imagination as a...

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The Doorway to Studio Paul Sahre

Posted by Mieke Chew on October 2, 2014

Over the past decade, Paul Sahre has consistently designed iconic book covers for New Directions, joining the ranks of ND greats Alvin Lustig, Ray Johnson, Rodrigo Corral, and Andy Warhol.   The Office of Paul Sahre is responsible for the disarming Clarice Lispector covers, which feature the...

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The Susan Howe Syllabus

Posted by Mieke Chew on September 26, 2014

In 1996, Susan Howe taught an English class at the University of Buffalo. The syllabus recently surfaced online. Our publisher Barbara Epler described it as "the craziest syllabus I've ever seen." Howe confirmed its authenticity with this note: "I did teach it! That is my course. I always...

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Future Feminism: Kiki Smith presents Anne Carson, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Anne Waldman

Posted by Mieke Chew on September 24, 2014

On Friday night, Kiki Smith presented the poets Anne Carson, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and Anne Waldman at The Hole gallery in New York. By 7:30 pm, the line for the event stretched down the Bowery a full block. Those at the front were ushered into a small gallery with a platform stage. On the stage...

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Happy Birthday, William Carlos Williams!

Posted by New Directions on September 17, 2014

Today is William Carlos Williams's birthday.  We celebrate with a look through the archives. (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963)  From Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams A prescription for James Laughlin from William Carlos Williams  A birthday poem A...

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The Authoritarian Turn: On The State of the Egyptian Intelligentsia

Posted by Mieke Chew on September 8, 2014

For a packed audience last Tuesday night, Bidoun and New Directions co-hosted "The Authoritarian Turn: On the State of the Egyptian Intelligentsia" at New York University. Panelists Khaled Fahmy (American University in Cairo), Mona El Ghobashy (independent scholar), and Robyn...

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ND Nightstand: Ben Lerner

Posted by New Directions on August 28, 2014

In our new blog series, ND Nightstand, we ask some of our favorite authors to name their favorite ND books. This month, we feature the nightstand of poet and novelist Ben Lerner, complete with a note on his selection and annotations on the books. Poetry ahead.  *** My sense of the...

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That Which Rolls - ND Books for Bikers

Posted by Jesse Kohn on August 5, 2014

The other day a little girl was learning how to ride a bike in the park near my house. Though she was doing well where the pavement was smooth, where it buckled, she often got stuck. Her training wheels having hoisted the back wheel off the ground, she pedaled fruitlessly and, once, fell...

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ND Nightstand: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Posted by New Directions on July 29, 2014

We're very pleased to announce a new ND Blog Series: ND Nightstand. We ask our favorite authors what their favorite ND books are. ND has published close to 1500 books in its history. The backlist is long. The nightstands are rich. Our first featured author is Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Thank you to...

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Translator Spotlight: Hosam Aboul-Ela

Posted by Michael Barron on July 21, 2014

Dr. Hosam Aboul-Ela Hosam Aboul-Ela has been translating literature from the Arabic language for over twenty years. His most recent translation is Sonallah Ibrahim's Stealth, which was published by New Directions in June. I reached out to Hosam to ask how he came to translate...

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The World Cup of Literature

Posted by Hannah Chute on July 18, 2014

I'd just like to take a moment to enjoy that the World Cup 2014 is over. Not that I didn't enjoy the rush, or the half-polarizing, half-globalizing spirit of tournament, but all that patriotism is exhausting, especially for someone whose experience with the sport is limited to having...

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Photos from The Driver’s Seat Screening

Posted by New Directions on July 16, 2014

In Brooklyn this past Tuesday, the alternative film venue Light Industry hosted a screening of The Driver’s Seat—Giuseppe Patroni Griffi’s 1974 Italian film adaptation of Muriel Spark’s 1970 novella. Originally released as Indentikit, the film stars Elizabeth Taylor and...

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STEALTH Mix: Awesome Tapes from Africa for ND

Posted by New Directions on June 30, 2014

Tracklist: 1. Samia Gamal “Ay Ya Zein” [Oh Beautiful] (from the film Valley of the Kings) 2. Um Kalthoum “Howa Sahih El-Hawa Ghallab” [Is It True That Love Is Irresistible?] 3. Laila Murad “Men Al Qalb Lel-Qalb...

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