What do Allen Ginsberg, Yehuda Amichai, and Elizabeth Alexander have in common? Carole Maso, Robert Creeley, Paul Bowles, Lucille Clifton and Susan Howe? These writers have all been published by small presses.
There is a long history of small press literary publishing in the U.S., integral to the development of modern American literature. Presses such as New Directions, City Lights, and Black Sparrow have been publishing since the mid 20th century, and continue to this day. Countless other presses have come and gone over time, sometimes lasting only a year or two. Small and independent press publishing in the U.S. remains vibrant and ever-changing, and continues to publish some of the most important and thought-provoking literary work today.
Given the critical role of small and independent press publishing in shaping the American literary terrain, Oberlin College Library has long made a concerted effort to acquire books by these publishers. Make sure to check out the current Spotlight on the Collections display of small press literature in the Academic Commons!