Common Ground#362

Publishing-in-Transit: New Directions

Editors and Writers in Conversation


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Writer and literary critic Cole Swensen joins Vice President & Senior Editor at New Directions Press Declan Spring alongside authors Forrest Gander and Thalia Field for a conversation on literary publishing. We open with readings by Gander and Field and conclude with a poetry reading by Spring.

In this talk

Publishing-in-Transit is a new monthly series celebrating contemporary literary editors, all of the often-unrecognized work that they do, and the community-based and conversational nature of contemporary innovative literary publishing. This is our third installment.

View our first installment featuring New York Review Books →

View our third installment featuring New Directions →

View our (upcoming) fourth installment featuring Ugly Duckling Presse →

Cole Swensen

A black and white photo of poet Cole Swensen.
Photo by Anthony Hayward
Poet Cole Swensen is the author of 17 volumes of poetry and a collection of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise. A book of hybrid poem-essays, Art in Time, was published by Nightboat in 2021. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has been awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize, the SF State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series. She has also translated over 20 volumes of poetry, prose, and art criticism from French and won the 2004 PEN USA Award in Literary Translation.

Declan Spring

A photograph of Declan Spring
Vice President and Senior Editor at New Directions, Declan Spring has been working at New Directions since 1991. Besides handling contracts, foreign rights, royalties, and college marketing, he also edits about a third of the ND list. He has edited works by Paul Auster, Anne Carson, Jorge Baron Biza, Inger Christensen, H.D., Jenny Erpenbeck, Thalia Field, Forrest Gander, Phoebe Giannisi, Gustaw Herling, Horacio Castellano-Moya, Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Stephane Mallarme, Fernando Pessoa, Dag Solstad, and Enrique Vila-Matas, among others.

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander, courtesy of Christopher Chung
Photo by Christopher Chung
A writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, Forrest Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and lives in northern California. His books, often concerned with ecology, include Be With (New Directions 2018) winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, the novel The Trace (New Directions 2014), and Twice Alive, (New Directions, 2021). Gander’s translations and co-translations include Alice Iris Red Horse by Gozo Yoshimasu (New Directions 2016), Spectacle & Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura (Omnidawn 2011), and Then Come Back: the Lost Neruda Poems (Copper Canyon Press 2016) He has received grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting and United States Artists Foundations.

Thalia Field

Cover of Thalia Field, Personhood
American author Thalia Field worked in theater as a writer, director, and producer before beginning to write books. Her latest book Personhood came out with New Directions in May 2021, and follows Bird Lovers, Backyard (2010) and Experimental Animals: A Reality Fiction (2016) in exploring animal-human and ecological narratives as they exist throughout our confused world. Field is the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University and the current Faculty Director of the Brown Arts Institute.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.