Spotlight on New Directions

You’re already planning to visit Malvern Books tomorrow night for our very first Everything is Bigger poetry reading, right? Well, be sure to come a little early so you can check out our recent New Directions haul!

New Directions was founded in 1936 by Harvard sophomore James Laughlin, who was not having much luck with his own poetry at the time:

“I asked Ezra Pound for ‘career advice’ . . . He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do something useful.” 

Laughlin took Pound’s advice to heart and began publishing anthologies of experimental poetry and prose, featuring early works from writers such as Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Dylan Thomas, and Denise Levertov. Shortly after the publication of the first anthology, Laughlin decided to add novels, plays, and poetry collections to the New Directions stable (mean ol’ Ezra was an early New Directions poet), and he also began reprinting neglected classics, including the then out-of-print The Great Gatsby. More than seventy-five years later, New Directions is still going strong, publishing about thirty books each year. They continue to relaunch classic titles (often with introductions by well-known contemporary writers), and they’ve added a lot of wonderful work in translation to the mix, making them one of our favorite indie presses.

Here’s a peek at some of our new-to-us New Directions titles:

New Directions 1

  • The Selected Stories of Siegfried Lenz – Translated by Breon Mitchell, this is a stunning collection of stories from one of Germany’s most renowned writers.
  • Ground Work – American poet Robert Duncan’s two masterworks in one volume.
  • The Lion Bridge – A comprehensive overview of Michael Palmer’s hauntingly beautiful poetry.

New Directions 2

  • The Melancholy of Resistance – A surreal and powerful novel by contemporary Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai, translated by George Szirtes.
  • It – The magnum opus of Danish poet Inger Christensen, It is considered a classic of modern European poetry.
  • The Selected Poems of Li Po – Translated by David Hinton, this is a masterful collection from the eighth-century Tang Dynasty poet.

New Directions 3

  • Antigonick – Anne Carson’s new translation of Sophokle’s Antigone, featuring stunning illustrations by Bianca Stone.
  • Labyrinths – A genre-bending collection of short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Donald Yates and James Irby.
  • New Collected Poems of George Oppen – This extensive paperback edition includes a CD of the poet reading from each of his poetry collections.