12 Great Small Press Books Recommended by Literary Insiders

According to the literary powers that be, March is Small Press Month, so before the month is out, we decided we’d better get to talking about a few of the great books — and there are many — published by the tinier houses. We reached out to a few publishers, editors, and publicists of small presses and asked them to recommend some of their favorite books recently released by other indie outfits. They responded in force, suggesting novels, short story collections, works of poetry and works in translation to add to our ever growing list of must-read books. Click through to check out twelve amazing books, all published by small presses in the last year or so, and let us know your own favorites in the comments.

The Invention of Glass, Emmanuel Hocquard, trans. Cole Swensen and Rod Smith (Canarium Books)

“It was a wonderful surprise to find that Canarium was putting out this translation of the great Emmanuel Hocquard’s 2003 L’Invention du verre. Hocquard is no stranger to the “small press” scene, on either side of the Atlantic: he’s been an editor/publisher as well as translator of contemporary poetry, and in English has hopped from one legendary press to another: Burning Deck, Red Dust, Marlboro, etc. Condemned though I may be to read Hocquard in English, I have to say he’s had a near-miraculous run of uniformly excellent translators, and this is no exception. It’s very difficult to describe Hocquard’s work or my attraction to it, but I’ll simply say that it falls between the chairs of linguistic philosophy, narrative, and (of course) verse so charmingly and perplexingly that he is one of the few living poets I will drop everything to read.” — Jeremy M. Davies, Senior Editor at Dalkey Archive Press