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Jul 26, 2010

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Leslie Morris is Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library, Harvard University in Cambridge MA and an expert on the New Directions publishing house. I met with her recently to talk about publisher James ‘Jay" Laughlin

"New Directions was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914 – 1997), then a twenty-two-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. "I asked Ezra Pound for ‘career advice,’" James Laughlin recalled. "He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do ’something’ useful."

and the history of his venerable firm. Subjects covered include Ezra Pound, dust jacket designer Alvin Lustig, experimental poetry, works in translation…all of which are informed by an underlying desire to get at those books within this publisher’s output that might most appeal to book collectors and book lovers generally.

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Copyright © 2010 by Nigel Beale. www.nigelbeale.com

This interview is part of our  Book Publisher Series which focuses on the histories of important British, American and Canadian publishing houses, and how to go about collecting their works.