From 1936 to 1991, the New Directions anthology served as a showcase for writers seeking to extend the frontiers of literature. Essentially a literary magazine in book form, the “Annual” (though in its later years more often a semiannual publication) was at the core of the New Directions list. From the first volume to the last, the series showcased the ever-changing, ever-surprising kaleidoscope of the homegrown and international avant-garde.
New Directions 1936, the inaugural volume, featured the work, among others, of Mary Barnard, Elizabeth Bishop, Kay Boyle, Jean Cocteau, E.E. Cummings, Dudley Fitts, Eugene Jolas, Henry Miller, Marianne Moore, Lorine Niedecker, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, John Wheelwright, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky.
Some of the contributors to ND55 (1991), the final edition, were David Antin, Marcel Cohen, Bernadette Mayer, Jay Meek, Douglas Messerli, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Josip Novakovich, Murray Pomerance, Peter Porter, Edouard Roditi, Kazuko Shiraishi, Charles Simic, Anne Waldman, and Cynthia Zarin.
Peter Glassgold joined ND’s founder and publisher, James Laughlin, in editing thirty-one numbers of this renowned and influential series, which first revealed the light of modernism in literature to generations of American readers and writers.
New York and Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1936–91
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