The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

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Leslie Morris is Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library, Harvard University in Cambridge MA and an expert on the New Directions publishing house. I met with her recently to talk about publisher James ‘Jay" Laughlin

"New Directions was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914 – 1997), then a twenty-two-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. "I asked Ezra Pound for ‘career advice,’" James Laughlin recalled. "He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do ’something’ useful."

and the history of his venerable firm. Subjects covered include Ezra Pound, dust jacket designer Alvin Lustig, experimental poetry, works in translation…all of which are informed by an underlying desire to get at those books within this publisher’s output that might most appeal to book collectors and book lovers generally.

Please listen here:

Subscribe to the Biblio File Podcast here

Copyright © 2010 by Nigel Beale. www.nigelbeale.com

This interview is part of our  Book Publisher Series which focuses on the histories of important British, American and Canadian publishing houses, and how to go about collecting their works.

Direct download: Leslie_Morris.mp3
Category:Publisher's Histories -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Publisher David R. Godine

Publisher and book collector David R. Godine is the founder and president of a small, independent, eponymous publishing house, located in Boston, Massachusetts. It produces between twenty and thirty titles per year and maintains an active reprint program.

Bio: After receiving degrees from Roxbury Latin School, Dartmouth College, and Harvard University, Godine worked for Leonard Baskin, the renowned typographer and printmaker, and master printer Harold McGrath. Going solo in 1970, from the confines of a deserted barn, using his own presses, Godine printed his first books. Most were letterpress, limited editions, printed on high-quality paper. In 1980, the company initiated its children’s program. A number of these books have become classics. The company has also published two important series: Imago Mundi, a line of original books devoted to photography and the graphic arts; and Verba Mundi, featuring the most notable contemporary world literature in translation. In 2002, Godine bought most of Black Sparrow Books’s backlist.

2010 marks the fortieth anniversary of Godine’s multiple award-winning publishing enterprise. We met recently in his office to talk about those books he’s most proud of having published, about the books he is, as a collector, most proud to own, and about how best one might go about collecting the Godine imprint. Please listen here:

This interview is part of our  Book Publisher Series which focuses on the histories of important British, American and Canadian publishing houses, and how to go about collecting their works.

Direct download: David_Godine.mp3
Category:Publisher's Histories -- posted at: 8:06am EDT

Porcupine’s Quill; and why it wont do business with Heather Reisman

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Elke and Tim Inkster have made an important and enduring contribution to Canadian literature. In 1974 they founded The Porcupine’s Quill (PQL), a publishing house based in Erin, Ontario. Renowned for excellence in design and production, and for taking risks with new, unpublished authors, the firm has helped kick-start the careers of many of Canada’s best known writers . PQL publications have won numerous awards and serve as an example to the world of Canadian publishing excellence.

Its first title came off the press in 1975: Brian Johnson’s only book of poems, Marzipan Lies. Brian Johnson is currently the film critic for Maclean’s and "claims to have met Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, twice!" (almost certainly an in-joke here that I’m not privy to).  Many of the early titles were slim volumes written by poets Tim Inkster had met as a student at the University of Toronto — amongst them Ed Carson who until recently was President of Penguin Canada, and Brian Henderson who is currently the publisher at Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

I met the Inksters recently in the garden behind their Press House. It butts up against the West Credit River, where this little critter

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spent most of the morning chopping and hauling lumber from one

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 bank to the

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other.

While he was doing this Tim and I made our way back into the press room to talk about the history of The Porcupine’s Quill and how to go about collecting its books. During this discussion we hit on how market forces often influence appearance: namely glossy versus matte finished covers. It was here that Tim got into describing the difficulties he’s encountered dealing with Chapters, Canada’s one and only big box bookstore. Please listen here to our conversation:

Subscribe to the Biblio File Podcast here

Copyright © 2010 by Nigel Beale. www.nigelbeale.com

This interview is part of our  Book Publisher Series which focuses on the histories of important British, American and Canadian publishing houses, and how to go about collecting their works.

Direct download: Tim_Inkster070808-103430.mp3
Category:Publisher's Histories -- posted at: 6:45am EDT

Mark Samuels Lasner

Collector, bibliographer, and typographer Mark Samuels Lasner is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library and a recognized authority on the literature and art of the late Victorian period. A graduate of Connecticut College, he is the author or co-author of  among other works, The Bookplates of Aubrey Beardsley (Rivendale Press, 2008), A Bibliography of Enoch Soames (Rivendale Press, 1999), The Yellow Book: A Checklist and Index (Eighteen Nineties Society, 1998), A Selective Checklist of the Published Work of Aubrey Beardsley (Thomas G. Boss Fine Books, 1995), and England in the 1890s: Literary Publishing at the Bodley Head ( Georgetown U Press, 1990). His articles and notes have appeared in the Book Collector, Browning Institute Studies, Notes and Queries, and other journals. He has organized or co-curated exhibitions across the United States.

I met recently with Mark in St. Petersburg, Florida to discuss the history of The Bodley Head and how one might best go about collecting work produced by this publisher. Please listen here:

This interview is part of our  Book Publisher Series which focuses on the histories of important British, American and Canadian publishing houses, and how to go about collecting their works.

Direct download: Mark_Samuels_Lasner_800406_01.mp3
Category:Publisher's Histories -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

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