Dalkey Archive Press has been called subversive, educational, experimental, innovative, and more. The initial ethos John O’Brien, John Bryne, and Lowell Dunlap established when the press was founded in 1981 has remained much the same, but with offices in London, Dublin, and Illinois, the press’s reach and influence travels far.
From Catalonia to Norway to Turkey, Dalkey consistently publishes some of the most unique titles. Each year they produce anthologies of outstanding European literature. The press publishes about 60 titles a year, and at least 50% are translations. Despite the struggles of being a small press focused on translated titles, Dalkey has found means to thrive. The press developed the Global Translation Initiative and the Applied Literature Translation program, which is hosted at the University of Houston-Victoria School of Arts and Science. This year Dalkey received a grant of $106,900 from the Creative Europe Culture Sub-Program Support to Literary Translation Projects to publish translations from nine Eastern European counties for the next two years. As a nonprofit depending only on grants and donations, the press will always strive to promote lesser-known voices. John O’Brien stated the following in 2004:
“Over the years I have found that many Americans-from readers to reviewers to critics to academics to publishers and of course to politicians-take pride in knowing almost nothing about the rest of the world.”
One of our century’s greatest writers, David Foster Wallace, found a home with Dalkey when it was located at the Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, where he taught. Other canons from this press include Gaddis, Barth, Barnes, Ashbery, and Huxley.
By Treasa Bane