In CONGRESS, July 4, 2020…
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to find a new book to read, and to seek out new exciting writers outside the handful represented in the major newspapers, one must seek out indie presses.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all readers are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of great literature. That, to secure these rights, presses are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the dedicated readers who buy their books.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that readers flock to presses that are mighty and powerful, with large catalogues and advertising space abundant.
But, when this system means that the most exciting, daring literary voices are neglected for the more marketable ones, it is our right, our duty, to seek out alternative presses, to support them by buying, reading, reviewing, and recommending their books to our friends.
We, therefore, at the Center for the Art of Translation and Two Lines Press, do wholeheartedly salute our fellow indie presses! We further declare that as small and independent presses we have full power to publish original, daring, and groundbreaking work, and to do all other things that free and independent presses may of right do. — And in the spirit of this Declaration, we pledge to actively seek out work by underrepresented and emerging presses, authors, translators, and books.
Here are some of the many indie presses worth celebrating this holiday!
City Lights Publishers
Try: Julian Bond’s Race Man or Brandon Shimoda’s The Grave on the Wall
Try: Vicente Huidobro’s Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven, translated by Ignacio Infante & Michael Leong
Try: Nathalie Léger’s Exposition, translated by Amanda DeMarco, and The White Dress, translated by Natasha Lehrer
Try: Q. M. Zhang’s Accomplice to Memory
Les Figues Press
Try: Myriam Moscona’s Tela de sevoya (Onioncloth), translated by Antena (Jen Hofer with John Pluecker)
Try: The Popol Vuh, translated by Michael Bazzett
Try: Édouard Glissant’s The Sun of Consciousness, translated by Nathanaël
The Song Cave
Try: Phan Nhiên Hạo’s Paper Bells, translated by Hai-Dang Phan
Ugly Duckling Presse
Try: Jena Osman’s Motion Studies
Try: Uxío Novoneyra’s The Uplands: Book of the Courel and other poems, translated by Erín Moure