|Parent company||Wesleyan University|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Middletown, Connecticut|
|Distribution||University Press of New England|
|Key people||Suzanna Tamminen|
|Official website|| www|
Wesleyan University Press is a university press that is part of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. The Press is currently directed by Suzanna Tamminen, a published poet and essayist.
A university press is an academic publishing house specializing in academic monographs and scholarly journals. Most are nonprofit and an integral component of a large research university. They publish work that has been reviewed by scholars in the field. They produce mainly scholarly works, but also often have "popular" titles, such as books on religion or on regional topics. Because scholarly books are mostly unprofitable, university presses may also publish textbooks and reference works, which tend to have larger audiences and sell more copies. Most university presses operate at a loss and are subsidized by their owners; others are required to break even. Demand has fallen as library budgets are cut and the online sales of used books undercut the new book market. Many presses are experimenting with electronic publishing.
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut. Founded in 1831, Wesleyan is a baccalaureate college that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and sciences, grants research master's degrees in many academic disciplines, and grants PhD degrees in biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, molecular biology and biochemistry, music, and physics. Along with Amherst College and Williams College, Wesleyan is a member of the Little Three colleges. In the 2016 Forbes ranking of American colleges, which combines national research universities, liberal arts colleges and military academies in a single survey, Wesleyan University is ranked 9th overall.
Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Native American name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. Middletown was included within Hartford County upon its creation on May 10, 1666. In 1784, the central settlement was incorporated as a city distinct from the town. Both were included within newly formed Middlesex County in May 1785. In 1923, the City of Middletown was consolidated with the Town, making the city limits extensive.
Founded (in its present form) in 1957, the Press publishes books of poetry and books on music, dance and performance, American Studies, and film.In 1965, Wesleyan sold its American Education Publications, a division of the Press that published My Weekly Reader, but the University retained the scholarly division. All editing occurs at the editorial office building of the Press on the Wesleyan campus. Publishing (printing) now occurs through a consortium of New England college academic presses.
Weekly Reader was a weekly educational classroom magazine designed for children. It began in 1928 as My Weekly Reader. Editions covered curriculum themes in the younger grade levels and news-based, current events and curriculum themed-issues in older grade levels. The publishing company also created workbooks, literacy centers, and picture books for younger grades.
The Press is notable among prestigious American academic presses for its poetry series, which publishes both established poets and new ones.The Press has released more than 250 titles in its poetry series and has garnered, in that series alone, awards including five Pulitzer Prizes, a Bollingen Prize, three National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, and an American Book Award. According to The New York Times, university presses with bigger endowments, with financial backing from the state, or with large graduate programs do not enjoy the same status in the field of poetry that the Wesleyan University Press enjoys, nor have they won a comparable array of prizes in poetry. The Press also has garnered Pulitzer Prizes, American Book Awards, and other awards in its other series.
The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
The Bollingen Prize for Poetry is a literary honor bestowed on an American poet in recognition of the best book of new verse within the last two years, or for lifetime achievement. It is awarded every two years by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University.
The National Book Awards are a set of annual U.S. literary awards. At the final National Book Awards Ceremony every November, the National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards and two lifetime achievement awards to authors.
Norman O. Brown and John Cage were two of the prominent early authors whose work was published by the Press.The Press's poetry series was nurtured in its infancy by noted poet Richard Wilbur, then an English professor at the University. In the mid-1950s, William Manchester, who would become a long time writer-in-residence and professor at the University, served as an editor at the Press. Donald Hall, a future Poet Laureate of the United States, served as a member of the editorial board for poetry at the Press from 1958 to 1964. In the 1960s, T.S. Eliot served both as a roving editor for the poetry series and special editorial consultant of the Press. In the former capacity, Eliot's responsibilities included finding rising English and European poets for the Press.
Norman Oliver Brown was an American scholar, writer, and social philosopher. Beginning as a classical scholar, his later work branched into wide-ranging, erudite, and intellectually sophisticated considerations of history, literature, psychology, culture, and other topics. Brown advanced some novel theses and in his time achieved some general notability.
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.
Richard Purdy Wilbur was an American poet and literary translator. One of the foremost poets of his generation, Wilbur's work, composed primarily in traditional forms, was marked by its wit, charm, and gentlemanly elegance. In 1987 he was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, in 1957 and again in 1989.
Wesleyan is the smallest college or university in the nation to have its own press,and the Wesleyan University Press has the second-oldest poetry series in the nation. Approximately 25 books are published each year.
Authors and poets published by the Press include John Luther Adams, Rae Armantrout (including her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Versed ), Samuel R. Delany, James Dickey (18th U.S. Poet Laureate), Brenda Hillman, Paul Horgan (including two Pulitzer Prize-winning books), David Ignatow, Yusef Komunyakaa (including his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Neon Vernacular), Justine Larbalestier, Heather McHugh, Juliet McMains, Farah Mendlesohn, Alice Notley, Leslie Scalapino, Louis Simpson (including his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection At The End Of The Open Road), Richard Slotkin, James Tate (including his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection James Tate: Selected Poems), Jean Valentine, Gerald Vizenor, Charles Wright, James Wright (including his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Collected Poems). Recently, Wesleyan published a new edition of poetry from Jack Spicer, which went on to win a 2009 American Book Award, contributing to the resurgence of a poet who died in public obscurity (of acute alcoholism) in 1965.
John Luther Adams is an American composer whose music is inspired by nature, especially the landscapes of Alaska, where he lived from 1978 to 2014. His orchestral work Become Ocean was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Rae Armantrout is an American poet generally associated with the Language poets. She has published ten books of poetry and has also been featured in a number of major anthologies. Armantrout currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego, where she is Professor of Poetry and Poetics. On March 11, 2010, Armantrout was awarded the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for her book of poetry Versed published by the Wesleyan University Press, which had also been nominated for the National Book Award. The book later earned the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She is the recipient of numerous other awards for her poetry, including an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008.
Versed is a book of poetry written by Rae Armantrout and published by Wesleyan University Press in 2009. It won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry after being named a finalist for the National Book Award. Armantrout is only the third poet to win two out of these three awards in one year.
Wesleyan University Press titles are distributed by the University Press of New England.
Sounding the Body: Improvisation, Representation and Subjectivity is one in a series of books on musical improvisation as a cultural practice to be published by Wesleyan University Press in 2012 as part of the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice research project.
Louise Elisabeth Glück is an American poet. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003, after serving as a Special Bicentennial Consultant three years prior in 2000. She won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2014 for Faithful and Virtuous Night.
William Stanley Merwin was an American poet who wrote over fifty books of poetry and prose, and produced many works in translation. During the 1960s anti-war movement, Merwin's unique craft was thematically characterized by indirect, unpunctuated narration. In the 1980s and 1990s, his writing influence derived from an interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in a rural part of Maui, Hawaii, he wrote prolifically and was dedicated to the restoration of the island's rainforests.
Richard Ghormley Eberhart was an American poet who published more than a dozen books of poetry and approximately twenty works in total. "Richard Eberhart emerged out of the 1930s as a modern stylist with romantic sensibilities." He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Selected Poems, 1930–1965 and the 1977 National Book Award for Poetry for Collected Poems, 1930–1976. He is the grandfather of former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.
Charles Wright is an American poet. He shared the National Book Award in 1983 for Country Music: Selected Early Poems and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for Black Zodiac. In 2014-2015 he was the 50th Poet Laureate of the United States.
Charles Kenneth "C. K." Williams was an American poet, critic and translator. Williams won nearly every major poetry award. Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1987. Repair (1999) won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, was a National Book Award finalist and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The Singing won the National Book Award, 2003 and in 2005 Williams received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. The 2012 film Tar related aspects of Williams' life using his poetry.
Louis Aston Marantz Simpson was an American poet born in Jamaica. He won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work At the End of the Open Road.
James Vincent Tate was an American poet. His work earned him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He was a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
William Morris Meredith Jr. was an American poet and educator. He was Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1978 to 1980.
Joan Murray is an American poet, writer, playwright and editor. She is best known for her narrative poems, particularly her book-length novel-in-verse, Queen of the Mist; her collection Looking for the Parade which won the National Poetry Series Open Competition, and her New and Selected Poems volume,Swimming for the Ark, which was chosen as the inaugural volume in White Pine Press's Distinguished Poets Series.
Forrest Gander is an American poet, essayist, novelist, critic, and translator.
Spencer Reece is a poet and presbyter who lives in Madrid, Spain. He graduated from Wesleyan University (1985). Reece received his M.A. from the University of York (UK), his M.T.S. from the Harvard Divinity School, and a M.Div. from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale Divinity School. At Wesleyan, Spencer took a class in writing verse with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard, whom he describes as "an early encourager," along with James Merrill, the Stonington poet with whom Spencer corresponded.
Jean Valentine is an American poet and was the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008–2010. Her poetry collection, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, was awarded the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry.
Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and performer who won the American Book Award in 1990 for Women on War; International Writings from Antiquity to the Present. First published in 1988 during the Cold War, by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster: NY, it was reissued in an all new edition at the dawn of the Iraq War with many women of the Mid-East added, by The Feminist Press of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 2003 and has been in-print for over 25 years. It was the first book of world literature to gather the global voices of women on the issues of war effecting their lives. It won the American Book Award in 1990.
Heather McHugh is an award-winning American poet, notable for translating poetry from Eastern Europe.
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature.