New Directions was founded in 1936 by James Laughlin, following the advice of Ezra Pound to “do something useful.” Since then, New Directions has published over 1500 works of literature. We celebrated our 80th birthday last Friday at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn.
For those who couldn’t make it, you missed: John Keene’s toast and a slice of his story “Rivers”; Rivka Galchen reading Ezra Pound and Stevie Smith; Eliot Weinberger’s tantric ode to the ND goddesses; Bernadette Mayer reading an erotic Chinese poem, a poem inspired by rap music, and another about Lyme disease; Anne Carson reading from The Albertine Workout, and anniversary poem to her husband, Currie; and László Krasznahoraki’s nihilistic reading, with an “except for New Directions” punch line.
Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate! We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to ND over the years, everyone who participated in the event, our co-publisher, Christine Burgin, the wonderful booksellers at Greenlight for having us, and all of our readers.
Cheers to 80 years to New Directions!
Photos: Sachyn MitalPublished