Allen Ginsberg

Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.

There was a time when, throwing back a pint or two at McSorley’s or Kettle of Fish in Greenwich Village, you’d be likely to rub elbows with the likes of e.e. cummings, Jack Kerouac or Washington Irving. This month, we take you on a tour of legendary literary watering holes in the Village. We plan to pay an actual visit during our Publishing Business Conference Pub Crawl. Who knows, we may stumble across a future bestselling author!

The biggest publishing houses in America still don't know what to do about Amazon, but at a rarefied end of the bookmaking world that you probably didn't know existed, business is still good. The current issue of Harvard Magazine features a fascinating article by journalist Nathan Heller about Arion Press of San Francisco. Heller describes Arion as "the only full-service letterpress left in the United States." Put another way, Arion is the only publisher going that still makes books the way Gutenberg made books.

Founded in 1953 in a small shop at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Broadway in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, City Lights Bookstore is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Still in its original location, the store has expanded over the years to fill the entire building, sharing it with the offices of the fabled City Lights Publishing Company. City Lights Booksellers & Publishers continues to be owned by its original co-founder, poet, painter, publisher and defender of free speech, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

The Progressive magazine has opened a line of digital books, collecting stories from a century’s worth of articles. The books were created with support from Middleton-based August Publications.

Quoth the release:

    Newly digitized and fully searchable, The Progressive archives are a treasure trove of progressive history, beginning with the magazine’s founding in 1909 by Fighting Bob La Follette … In its early years, it joined the cause of women’s suffrage under the leadership of Belle Case La Follette, Fighting Bob’s wife.

The problems of poetry are many. It can be difficult to discover. It can be difficult to read and interpret. Are you reading it right? Are you interpreting it right? Are you sure?

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