New River Press

As we prepare to print several books this winter…

New River Press launches a monthly artists’ edition, exclusive Patreon blog, and information on new releases.

RIP to John Ashbery (pictured above, left), who died on September 3rd 2017 at 90 years old: “Sometimes I get radiant drunk when I think of and/or look at you.// Overcome by our life with me in it. //And other mornings too your care is like a city with the uncomfortable parts// evasive and difficult to connect with the plan … “


This is the first irregular update. From time to time, we will write to you about developments in the New River fold, and other news. Feel free to hit ‘reply’ and give us your comments or questions.

We’ve started a Patreon, please read more about it:

You can be a supporter for $10 a month (or £7.50, subject to market volatility). For that, you will get access to regular posts put together by our own Rosalind Jana and Heathcote Ruthven. They will be writing pieces on New River poets, getting them to write about poems they love, interviewing them, and reflecting on life. If we get enough support we will start a monthly podcast. We are very excited about getting all these schemes off the ground so please do help us if you can.

In the spirit of DADAist collaborative works, we will be starting a monthly New River artists’ edition available exclusively through the Patreon (see link for more information). These will be collectables, stamped artists prints, collages, poetic confetti, manifestos, and other unique artefacts from Robert, Greta, and the rest of the New River world.

All of this momentum will help us pay for printing costs for our autumn releases. MANY ARE ON THE WAY. We are very proud to announce that before the end of the year we will have published:

  • Barbara Polla, a book of erotic poems by an esteemed Swiss curator and medical doctor.
  • A new book by the cult poet Robert Lundquist who was published by Raymond Carver in the 1980s before disappearing into the world of downtown LA. We have rediscovered a lost genius.
  • Niall McDevitt’s epic new work Babylon (a neoliberal theodicy), and other poems, based on his recent trip to Iraq.
  • The New River Press 2017 Yearbook, a hugh collection of all of our friends, including many topic poems that capture the spirit of ’17.
  • New editions of sold out books, including Coltash by Robert Montgomery and Perishing Tame by Greta Bellamancina.

More plans are in the pipeline but are not yet cooked enough to share. For now, let us leave you with the John Ashbery poem quoted above.

All our love and light,
New River Press


So Many Lives

Sometimes I get radiant drunk when I think of and/or look at you,
Upstaged by our life, with me in it.
And other mornings too
Your care is like a city, with the uncomfortable parts
Evasive, and difficult to connect with the plan
That was, and the green diagonals of the rain kind of
Fudging to rapidly involve everything that stood out,
And doing so in an illegal way, but it doesn’t matter,
It’s rapture that counts, and what little
There is of it is seldom aboveboard,
That’s its nature,
What we take our cue from.
It masquerades as worry, first, then as self-possession
In which I am numb, imagining I am this vision
Of ships stuck on the tarpaper of an urban main,
At night, coal stars glinting,
And you the ruby lights hung far above on pylons,
Seeming to own the night and the nearer reaches
Of a civilization we feel is ours,
The lining of our old doing.

I can walk away from you
Because I know I can always call, and in the end we will
Be irresolutely joined,
Laughing over this alphabet of connivance
That never goes on too long, because outside
My city there is wind, and burning straw and other things that don’t coincide,
To which we’ll be condemned, perhaps, some day.
Now our peace is in our assurance
And has that savor,
Its own blind deduction
Of whatever would become of us if
We were alone, to nurture on this shore some fable
To block out that other whose remote being
Becomes every day a little more sentient and more suavely realized.
I’ll believe it when the police pay you off.
In the meantime there are so many things not to believe in
We can make a hobby of them, as long as we continue to uphold
The principle of private property.
So what if ours is planted with tin-can trees
It’s better than a forest full of parked cars with the lights out,
Because the effort of staying back to side with someone
For whom number is everything
Will finally unplug in the dark
And the black acacias stand out as symbols, lovers
Of what men will at last stop doing to each other
When we can be quiet, and start counting sheep to stay awake together.

John Ashbery

(from ‘A Wave’, Carcanet 1984)



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One Response to New River Press

  1. Cy Lester says:

    – A wonderful tribute to an important poet.
    – How else would a monoglot reader get close to Rimbaud’s ILLUMINATIONS without John
    Ashberry’s translation.

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