When I think of the word “contemporary” in relation to poetry, I immediately think of Wave Books. This indie publisher rises above the rest in terms of aesthetics. Their font-first cover art has become so characteristic of the press that one can walk into the poetry section of a bookstore and immediately recognize the careful design of a Wave Books release. A perfect example of this is the ingenious minimalist cover art for A Roll of the Dice (written by Stéphane Mallarmé and translated by Jeff Clark and Robert Bononno), which dips in and out of sight while remaining clean and bold.
Wave Books may be a small outfit, but their releases are anticipated by reviewers across the nation. Reviews editors trust that authors published by Wave will be innovators. Go-to authors and poets like Maggie Nelson, Dorthea Lasky, and Mary Ruefle have books in the Wave catalog. International poets, like Mario Santiago Papasquiaro and Ernst Meister, have entranced the English-language poetry community with their incredible different voices. Wave Books authors’ styles range from raging to stoic, but the results are the same: gorgeous poetry that makes you think.
Poetry translations by Wave Books can be found here. Explore their catalog here.
Read an excerpt from the “About” page below.
“Wave Books is an independent poetry press based in Seattle, Washington, dedicated to publishing exceptional contemporary poetry, poetry in translation, and writing by poets. The press was founded in 2005, merging with established publisher Verse Press. By publishing strong, innovative work in finely crafted editions, we hope to continue to challenge the values and practices of readers and add to the collective sense of what’s possible in contemporary poetry.”
By Chelsey Slattum