March is Small Press Month, and as things bud and unfurl in these first weeks of spring, it's a wonderful time to celebrate independent publishers. Small presses support writers who would normally not be read, and though they may not make it on the bestseller's list, these books are valuable for expanding and enriching our literary culture. In exchange for all their hard work and support, I suggest we writers honor small presses by buying a volume or making a donation. Here are a few of my favorites:
Ugly Duckling Presse prints lovely letterpress chapbooks, broadsides, artist books and 6X6, a literary magazine. Operating out of New York City, they focus on marginalized and international poets, including poets from Central Europe such as Tomaz Salamun and Lidija Dimkovska.
Graywolf Press, housed in St. Paul, MN., publishes some of the best writers working today. Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, criticism, translation, and instruction bed down together like a pack of wolves keeping at bay the dark night of dull writing.
Bear Star Press is found right here in Northern California. Focusing on poets from the western and pacific states, Bear Star sponsors the annual Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Contest. Past winners include Kathryn Cowles, Molly Tenenbaum, and Manuel Paul Lopez.
I've added a list of literary links to this blog, including links to more favorite publishers. Let me know about other worthy presses, and the important work they are doing.