Joshua Bodwell is glad he doesn’t have to personally deal with Charles Bukowski. Or Wanda Coleman. Or Paul Bowles. Or, for that matter, any of the late, legendary writers synonymous with Black Sparrow Press — the avant-garde publishing house established by John and Barbara Martin in 1966, in Los Angeles, and shuttered in 2002, in Santa Rosa. Bringing the long-dormant Californian imprint back to life is already more than enough pressure.
“It would be a lot of anxiety if one were tending to some of those legacy authors,” admits Bodwell, who, after being appointed editorial director of Boston-based publisher Godine in the winter of 2019, began working that July to relaunch the imprint under its umbrella. Starting with the spring 2020 publication of Coleman’s Wicked Enchantment, he’s tried to quietly oversee the release of 10 new additions to Black Sparrow’s 600-plus-title catalog. He’s held off on making a big announcement about the press’s rebirth, choosing to build up a body of work he could be proud of first. Read more
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