Small Press Points

by Staff

News and Trends

Posted 1.1.13

January/February 2013

Brooklyn, New York–based Argos Books (argosbooks.org)—an independent press that specializes in poetry, translation, and hybrid genres—got its start in 2010, when poet-translators E. C. Belli, Iris Cushing, and Elizabeth Clark Wessel realized they shared a passion for poetry, translation, and the process of bookmaking as a community endeavor. “We wanted to contribute our own idiosyncratic visions of contemporary poetry to the greater conversation,” Clark Wessel says. Although Argos has released a few full-length books, it primarily publishes chapbook-length poetry collections, translations, and writer-artist collaborations, often in hand-sewn and letterpress editions. “We are interested in innovative poetry that takes risks with form and content and is attentive to the possibilities of the chapbook. We want to see work from writers whose identities and perspectives fall outside the mainstream.” Chapbook-length submissions—fifteen to thirty pages—are accepted during the months of January and February. Recent Argos releases include original work by Malachi Black and Joan Larkin, and a group of poems by Dagmara Kraus, translated from the German by Josh Edwin; future titles will feature the work of Mark Bibbins, Harryette Mullen, Eileen Myles, Hoa Nguyen, Mónica de la Torre, and Cecilia Vicuña, among others. “We’re inspired by the writers we publish, by presses that publish in the face of great economic and cultural odds, and by those who write as if there is something at stake, because we believe there is something at stake,” Clark Wessel says. And as to the origins of the name, she explains, “We took Argos, Odysseus’s dog, as our mascot because we consider loyalty, affection, and the ability to see the true worth of something as the most essential elements of small press publishing.”