i n t e r e s t i n g  s i t e s  &  r e s o u r c e s 



As Archipelago begins its fourth year of publication, we pause to remind ourselves of where we come from. In “Little String Game,” our contributing editor K. Callaway traced the meaning of the word through history.

“I’ve looked up ‘archipelago’ in the OED and my Eleventh Edition (1910-11) of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and found it is pronounced arkipelago, and that the Italian word it came to us from, arci-pelago, is pronounced archie. Thus, at least two pronunciations are in use. To my surprise, though, I see the word doesn’t mean ‘islands’ but the sea in which they are found in number. The etymology is much disputed. The OED says it comes from the Italian arcipelago, from arci (chief, principle) and pelago (deep, abyss, gulf, pool). The medieval Latin is pelagus, the Greek pelagos, sea. In most languages the word had at first the prefix of the native form: OS. arcipielago ; OPg. arcepelago; M.E. archpelago, arch-sea. All except Italian now begin archi; according to the OED….” “Little String Game,” Archipelago Vol. 1, No. 2.


Independent Presses

Back in Print  A brilliant idea: through the agency of the Authors Guild, books gone out of print are made available to readers by way of print-on-demand, with book orders filled on-line, by toll-free phone, or through Shakespeare & Co., New York City. In this set-up, authors establish the price; titles available are varied and often surprising.

Catbird Press publishes, among other notable books, a number by Czech writers in translation, including THE POEMS OF JAROSLAV SEIFERT; a garland of these poems appeared in Archipelago Vol. 2, No. 3. DAYLIGHT IN NIGHTCLUB INFERNO offers Czech fiction from the “post-Kundera generation,” including work by Daniela Fischerová. Her “A Letter to President Eisenhower,” appears in Vol. 3, No. 1, from FINGERS POINTING SOMEWHERE ELSE, just published. New, also, is CITY SISTER SILVER, by Jáchym Topol, considered the best Czech novel of the last decade, by a writer worth watching. We heard him read, were fascinated, and will read this long, complex book. See the web site of the Czech Embassy, Washington, for their cultural calendar in the capital city.

The Lilliput Press is an Irish publisher founded in 1984 by Antony Farrell. Some 150 titles have appeared under its imprint: art and architecture, autobiography and memoir, biography and history, ecology and environmentalism, essays and literary criticism, philosophy, current affairs and popular culture, fiction, drama and poetry – all broadly focused on Irish themes. Since 1985 they have brought out four volumes of the essays of the late Hubert Butler. Hubert Butler’s “The Artukovitch File” appears, with their permission, in Archipelago Vol. 1, No. 2.

McPherson & Co publishes such writers as the fascinating Mary Butts (THE TAVERNER NOVELS), Anna Maria Ortese (A MUSIC BEHIND THE WALL, Selected Stories Vol. 2), and the performance artist Carolee Schneeman. A beautiful story by Ortese, “The Great Street,” appeared in our inaugural issue, and the writer’s testament, “Where Time Is Another,” appeared in Vol. 2, No. 4.

Online Originals is an internet publisher of literature who take the position, one we find ourselves much in agreement with, that “Conventional book publishing has changed dramatically in recent years. Most of the world’s publishers are now owned by a handful of media conglomerates, ruled in turn by their finance and marketing departments. To guarantee high profits, they tend to accept manuscripts only by only celebrity writers whose output conforms to the conventional mainstream market. ... We believe that the Internet is the way forward for all kinds of publishing. But for the benefit of our authors, we do not prevent them also publishing printed versions of their works at a later date.” They deliver “book-like” texts by e-mail.

Station Hill Press is a non-profit publisher run by the poet George Quasha. They publish writers of serious and surrealist bent, as well as very fine poetry and fiction. Among their writers are Maurice Blanchot and Spencer Holst (whose “The Zebra Storyteller” appeared in Vol. 3, No. 1). Maria Negroni, whose work appeared in Vol. 1, No. 1 and Vol. 2, No. 4, is the author of a beautiful work in poetry and prose, ISLANDIA, which they will publish this year, using print-on-demand; a noteworthy work of literature brought out by an interesting development in publishing technology.

Salmon Poetry lives in County Clare, Ireland. The editor, Jessie Lendennie, is pleased to publish not only her countrymen, including, she tells us, the largest list of women poets of any Irish publisher, but also Alaskan poets, among whom are several old friends of ours. She wrote to say she liked our “The Repetition of Their Days,” Vol. 2, No.3.

Sun & Moon Press is a fine, serious, literary press with a long backlist. They publish classics as well as contemporary fiction and poetry; writers and poets such as Arkadii Dragomoschenko (astonishing Russian poet), Paul Celan, Harry Matthews, Djuna Barnes, Paul Auster, Russell Banks. They will publish Maria Negroni’s LA JAULA BAJO EL TRAPO/CAGE UNDER COVER, tr. Anne Twitty, in a Spanish-English edition; a selection appeared in Archipelago Vol. 2, No. 4.

Turtle Point Press. This intelligent press, led by Jonathon Rabinowitz, Helen Marx, and Jeanette Watson, is reviving several books by the marvelous Iris Origo, including her LEOPARDI: A STUDY IN SOLITUDE. Another necessary book published here is Hannah Green’s profound THE DEAD OF THE HOUSE. Jeanette Watson’s Books & Co. News is posted, as well. (An excerpt from Lynne Tillman’s BOOKSTORE, about Watson and Books & Co., once one of the cultural resources of Manhattan, appears in Vol. 3, No. 3.)

Twisted Spoon Press, publishing in Prague, offers works in translation by Central European writers, in handsomely-made paperbound books. Among their authors: the great Czech writer Bohumil Harabal (his TOTAL FEARS, as it is called in English, being a selection of periodic writing, is a great book), Tomasz Salamoun, fine Slovenian poet, Peter Nadas, Hungarian novelist, and other writers we will want to know about. The Prague Links are particularly useful if you are going there or are interested in the city.

Fine Arts

<i>iola</i>. This perfectly eccentric site is like the dinner party of artists, thinkers, above all, talkers you want regularly to be invited to. Its host-redactor is Robbin Murphy, who is worth looking up. Of particular delight: The Little Window.

Kamera –  came to us via the Richmond Review and is its pictorial mirror-image. Lively, hip, devoted to the cinematic arts, with features and reviews of movies and exhibits currently on in Britain.

Octavo is a digital publisher committed to conserving books, manuscripts, and antiquarian printed materials via digital tools and formats. They make original works available to readers and book lovers through partnerships with libraries, individuals and institutions. As a sample, they offer a PDF download of William Shakespeare Poems. We are always pleased when web publishers use PDF files, as we do for our Download edition.

Work in Regress. This vertiginous site is by Peteris Cedrins, author of “The Penetralium,” an excerpt of which appears in Archipelago Vol. 3, No. 3. Here also are two images of dark, thrilling paintings by Inguna Liepa; descent into the psyche.

Journals and Reviews

The Barcelona Review, Jill Adams, Editor. A fine, multi-lingual (English, Castilian, Catalan) offering published in Catalonia by a multi-national group. Intelligent editing; interesting reading of younger writers from Europe and America.

Big Bridge. Edited by Michael Rothenberg, editor of OVERTIME, selected poems of Philip Whalen (Penguin, 1999), and Wanda Phipps, who bring an open-armed, ‘60s generosity to this “webzine.” “We think walls are good for keeping out the cold and rain,” they write: “They’re useless in the creation and propagation of art.” Big Bridge Press publishes chapbooks and handsome botannica. Michael Rothenberg’s new novel, PUNK ROCKWELL, just out from Tropical Press, is smart, funny, and sexy: “I chose my conflicts out of desire and need…. It wasn’t until I’d built myself a nest out of bourgeois securities and ventured into the jungle of treasured nightmares that I met Punk Rockwell.”

Blue Ear. “Global Writing Worth Reading” is their motto; well done. The publishers of this international web journal, from Washington, D. C., publish thoughtful journalism, sponsor articulate forums, link to articles and publications (such as Central European Review and the New York Review of Books) that we read regularly. They are forthright about their views; they are (properly) doubtful about hyper/turbocapitalism and are smart to trust their readers’ intelligence. Their Links page is terrific. We found Archipelago there, recently, and in good company, when they linked to ‘Hecuba,’ Fragments of Witness, The Trojan Women. Vol. 3, No. 4.

The Cortland Review. Established in 1997, this publication offers such poets as Charles Simic, Robert Pinsky, Henry Taylor, Mark Doty, Robert Creeley, Mark Jarman, Lloyd Schwartz, Neal Bowers, R.T. Smith, John Kinsella. All poetry and most fiction appear in Real Audio format. They publish in February, May, August, and November, with Monthly features.

The Drunken Boat is a new journal founded by the poet Rebecca Seiferle. Her recent collection, THE MUSIC WE DANCE TO, was a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and her translation of Vallejo's TRILCE was the only finalist for the 1992 PenWest Translation Award. Look for new translations of Robert Desnoes and Leah Rudnitsky, a poet in the Vilnius Ghetto, poems by Ruth Stone, new translations of Paul Celan by Heather McHugh, translations of the well-known Israel poet, Robert Friend, and more. A very welcome, serious journal of poetry as necessary as breathing.

George Meyers Jr.’s LitKit bills itself as a “non-commercial zine and archive” and “a larkabout for readers with brains, and for writers with lightbulbs blazing in their heads.” That’s close enough; it’s an experience.

The Hungarian Quarterly, the respected literary journal, offers an essay by Sándor Kányádi in No. 152, Winter 1998 (linked from the cover page) An essay about Kányádi and poems by him, translated by Adam Makkai and Bruce Berlind, appear in No. 138, Summer 1995. Kányádi’s great poem “All Soul’s Day in Vienna” appeared in Archipelago Vol. 3, No. 4; his charming, heartbreaking “Song of the Road” is in this issue.

Illuminations. The web site advertises this printed literary journal appearing normally in July/August of the year. We look forward to it. Its editor, Simon Lewis, writes, “You might just call us an international magazine of contemporary writing devoted to publishing new and up-and-coming writers alongside already established ones; very open to writing from around the world and in translation; mainly poetry but carrying some short prose pieces and some art work. This summer's issue will include an interview with Tim O’Brien and poems by Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American writers, also a couple of poems by Sándor Kányádi translated by Paul Sohar, as well as some of Sohar’s own work.. The 2001 issue should showcase Cuban writers.”

Jacket was founded and is edited by John Tranter, a Australian poet whose work is published often in the TLS. “For more than thirty years he has been at the forefront of the new poetry, questioning and extending its procedures.” In this quarterly literary journal he publishes the work of other writers generously. A new collection of his that should be read, LATE NIGHT RADIO, is published by Polygon & Edinburgh University Press. It can be ordered there (tel. 0131 650 8436), or through Columbia University Press.

London Review of Books. One of the few reviews we read cover to cover; published on paper every two weeks and worth subscribing to. The on-line edition offers a generous selection of the current and past editions.

Mangrove is published at the University of Queensland, Australia, and is a lively site, offering well-chosen work by young writers, some of whom will bear watching.

Poetry Daily. A daily necessity.

The Richmond Review received approving notice (along with Archipelago) in the TLS. Its staff is drawn from about twenty-five young persons-about-London-publishing. The founding editor, Steven Kelly, is the author of THE WAR ARTIST, a chilling moral thriller about a man called Charles Monk, an artist who “only during wartime feels truly alive.” It was published in the U.K. by Simon & Schuster.

Render. Anthology of Korunk, Journal of Culture, History, and Theory, offers a poem by Sándor Kányádi.

Renditions. A magazine of translation, from the University of Hong Kong, Centre for Translation edited by Eva Hung, whose poems appeared in Archipelago Vol 3, No. 2.

Zimmerzine, edited by Martin Grampound, is an ‘e-zine’ with a flashy cover opening onto serious literature, including two poems by Sándor Kányádi, translated by Paul Sohar, at http://www.nhi.clara.net/z59.htm. Kányádi’s great poem “All Soul’s Day in Vienna” also translated by Sohar, appears in Archipelago Vol 3, No. 4.

Good Deed

The Hunger Site, United Nations: A friend e-mails: “Quite clever of the U.N. to do this. Go to the Hunger Site on the U.N. webpage. All you do is click a button and somewhere in the world a hungry person gets a meal at no cost to you. The food is paid for by corporate sponsors. All you do is go to the site and click. You’re allowed one click per day.” It’s true, and worth doing.

Et Alia

The Puppetry Homepage, is good news for devotees of the art, artifice, and folk-traditions of the marionette theater.


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