Belladonna Series

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Belladonna* Collaborative (AKA Belladonna Series, Inc.) is an American nonprofit poetry publisher and collaborative organization based in Brooklyn, New York City. It was founded in 1999 by Rachel Levitsky at Bluestockings (bookstore) in New York, NY as a poetry series featuring avant-garde feminist writing, with an emphasis on hybrid and language-focused writing. The reading series quickly expanded to a multi-faceted matrix of readings, publications and informal salons.[1] Currently, the press operates as a non-hierarchical collaborative, publishing books and hosting literary events with attention to diversity in its roster of authors and editorial board. [2]


Belladonna* was started as a reading and salon series at Bluestockings (bookstore) on New York City’s Lower East Side, in August 1999. The first publications were by kari edwards, for the May 4, 2000 reading at Bluestockings (bookstore). Following the edwards postcards, in collaboration with Boog Literature, Belladonna* began to publish commemorative ‘chaplets’ of its readers' work.[3]

In 2008 the style of production shifted from small-run, single-authored books to multi-authored volumes. In celebration of Belladonna*’s ten-year anniversary, the small press published an Elders Series highlighting continuity and transformation of the ideas, poetics, and concerns of its poets' circle.[4]


In 2010, Belladonna* formed a cooperative board with each member taking specific responsibilities so that the ongoing readings and publications can proceed. Presently the members are: Martine Bellen, Cara Benson, Caroline Crumpacker, HR Hegnauer, Barbara Henning, Krystal Languell, Rachel Levitsky (founder), Kristin Prevallet, Emily Skillings, Lila Zemborain, Akilah Oliver (1961–2011) [5]


Belladonna* collaborates with performance venues, academic institutions, art and literary organizations, holding readings at Dixon Place and Bowery Poetry Club, local literary bookstores like Unnameable Books and Book Thug Nation, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Small Press book fairs. It also participates in co-publication projects with other small presses in New York City, such as Litmus, Dusie, Futurepoem Books and Ugly Duckling Presse. Belladonna* has been featured in many publications including Rain Taxi, American Review of Books, Poets & Writers, amongst others.

All of Belladonna’s readings are recorded and available for listening on Pennsound, an online project committed to preserving audio archives.[6]

Publishing Philosophy[edit]

Instead of holding contests or having regular submission periods, Belladonna* promotes feminist literary community among those with a shared (and ever-evolving) poetics. For the most part Belldonna* develops its reading series and publication list through affiliation and invitation. In this manner the collective expands as new poets join its conversations, often volunteering to help with projects. Anyone who feels aligned with what Belladonna* is doing can participate, volunteer and contribute. Writers who are published by Belladonna often participate in the process of publishing their work and the work of others, and then become involved in the collective.[7]

List of Publications[edit]


Swarm of Bees in High Court
Tonya Foster (2015)

All Is Not Yet Lost
Betsy Fagin (2015)

Sunday, Theory: A translation of La Theorie, un Dimanche
Louky Bersianik, Nicole Brossard, Louise Cotnoir, Louise Dupré, Gail Scott, and France Théoret (2013)

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs (2013)

R. Erica Doyle (2013)

Fifteen Poems
Bobbie Louise Hawkins (2012)

Everywhere Here and in Brooklyn: A Four Quartets
Kristin Prevallet (2012)

Looking Up Harryette Mullen
Barbara Henning (2011)

The Wide Road
Lyn Hejinian and Carla Harryman (2011)

Bharat Jiva
kari edwards (2009)

No Gender:' Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards "
Edited by Julian T.Brolaski, erica kaufman, and E.Tracy Grinnel (2009)

The Elders Series:
For the 10 year anniversy of the press, Belladonna* published a limited edition, series of eight perfect-bound books. Each book is an anthology and a conversation between a guest curator and the elder(s) she hosts.

1. E. Tracy Ginnell hosts Leslie Scalapino (2008)
2. Erica Kaufman & Rachel Levitsky host Bob Gluck & Sarah Schulman (2008)
3. Tisa Bryant hosts Chris Kraus (2009)
4. Tribute to Emma Bee Bernstein with Susan Bee (2009)
5. Jen Scappettone hosts Lyn Hejinian & Etel Adnan (2009)
6. Kate Eichorn hosts M.Nourbese Philp & Gail Scott (2009)
7. Cara Benson hosts Jayne Cortez & Anne Waldman (2009)
8. Jane Sprague hosts Diane Ward & Tina Darragh (2009)

Marcella Durand (2008)

Alyson Singes
Caroline Bergvall (2008)

Muave Sea Orchids
Lila Zemborain (2007)

Open Box
Carla Harryman (2007)

Four From Japan: Contemporary Poetry & Essays by Women
Kiriu Minashita, Kyong-Mi Park, Ryoko Sekiguchi, and Takako Arai. (2006)

Time Slips Right Before Your Eyes
Erica Hunt (2006)

The Putterer’s Notebook
Akilah Oliver (2006)


151. Beyond Relief: Celina Su and Ariana Reines

150. Room Service: Rachel Levitsky, Hoa Nguyen, Simone Kearney, R. Erica Doyle, Anna Moschovakis

149. Jack Halberstam, Brian Pietras, Mark Wunderlich, Ronaldo Wilson, Stephen Motika

148. Mia Bruner, Karl Leone, Christine Shan Shan Hou

147. Transfeminism & Literature, Volume 1: Nicholas Birns, Trish Salah

147. Transfeminism & Literature, Volume 2: T.L. Cowan, Joy Ladin, Tim Trace Peterson

146. Albert Mobilio: Games And Stunts145. Wendy S. Walters: Untitled

144. Juliana Spahr: Dynamic Positioning143. tc tolbert: spirare (only a few left!)

142. Hannah Andrews, Jane Kennedy, and Jamila Wimberly: Voices of Belladonna*

141. erica kaufman: from Instant Classic

140. Uljana Wolf: Aliens: An Island

139. Hannah Zeavin: from Redress

138. Caroline Crumpacker: Upon Nostalgia

137. Ana Božičević: War on a Lunchbreak

136. Elisa Biagini; translations by Eugene Ostashevsky: La sorpresa nell’uovo (The Surprise in the Egg).
135. Amina Cain
134. Danielle Dutton
133. Renee Gladman (forthcoming)
132. Carmen Giménez Smith: Can We Talk Here
131. Cecilia Vicuña: beforehand
130. Tsering Wangmo Dhompa: Selvage: for country
129. Lauren Nicole Nixon, Alexandra Beller, Sally Silvers and Rosamond S. King: Body of Words
128. Eileen Myles: Dear Lia,
127. Bhanu Kapil: (a poem-essay, or precursor: NOTES: for a novel: Ban en Banlieues)
126. Vanessa Place: Untitled #5
125. The Elders Series #8
124. The Elders Series #7
123. The Elders Series #6
121. The Elders Series #4
120. The Elders Series #3
119. The Elders Series #2
118. The Elders Series #1
117. Kevin Killian: Wow Wow Wow Wow 1
116. Dodie Bellamy: Mother Montage
115. Kathy Lou Schultz: Biting Midge (Works in Prose)
114. Jean Day: Daydream (The Eponym)
113. Barbara Cole: from ear say
112. Elizabeth Robinson: Rumor
111. Fiona Templeton: Medea in Aia: Part I of the Medead
110. R. Erica Doyle: from Proxy
109. Stacey Levine: Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small
108. Maggie O’Sullivan: Windows Opening
107. Harriet Zinnes: IT IS AS IF
106. Jen Benka and Carol Mirakove: 1,138
105. Jocelyn Saidenberg: Dispossessed
104. Evie Shockley: 31 words * prose poems
103. Rebecca Brown: Always & Like This
102. Anna Moschovakis: The Tragedy of Waste
101. Patricia Spears Jones: repuestas!
100. Maureen Owen: from Working Papers
99. Laura Moriarty: Ultravioleta Documents
98. Deborah Meadows: The Draped Universe
97. a. rawlings: W I D E R
96. Margaret Christakos: My Girlish Feast
95. Kate Colby: from A Banner Year
94. Elizabeth Willis: All The Paintings of Giorgione
93. Laynie Browne: Desires of Letters
92. Rae Armantrout: Fetch
91. Marjorie Welish: Art and Language Writes an Epitaph
90. Sharon Mesmer: Vertigo Seeks Affinities
89. Dawn Lundy Martin: The Undress
88. Melissa Buzzeo: Near: a luminescence
87. Laura Elrick: Permeable Structures: A Performance Essay in Stereo (excerpts)
86. Myung Mi Kim: from Penury
85. Ann Lauterbach: from Nothing to Say
84. Kim Rosenfield: 10 Perfumes
83. Kathe Izzo: Public & Private Love
82. Rachel Zolf: from Human Resources
81. Nathalie Stephens: You But for the Body Fell Against
80. Stacy Szymaszek: hyper glossia.
79. Mairead Byrne: Kalends.
78. Fernada Laguna, Gabriela Bajerman, and Cecilia Pavón; translations by Urayoán Noel: Belleza y Felicidad
77. Karen Weiser: Heads Up Fever Pile
76. Martine Bellen: NYC Stories / Lessons of the Microscopist
75. Lisa Robertson: First Spontaneous Horizontal Restaurant
74. Erin Moure: Befallen I
73. Monica de la Torre: Doubles: An Excerpt
72. hassen: Salem
71. Mercedes Roffe: Theory of Colors
70. Lyn Hejinian: Lola
69. Corina Copp: Play Air
68. Susan Howe: 118 Westerly Terrace
67. Eileen Tabios: The Estrus Gaze(s)
66. Nicole Brossard: Matter Harmonious Still Maneuvering
65. Renee Gladman: Untitled, Woman On Ground
63. Latasha N. Nevada Diggs: Manuel is destroying my bathroom…
62. Rachel Daley: You and Me Story 61. Jaimy Gordon: A Month of Love
60. Belladonna* Bilingue: Women’s Work in Translation (v. 2)
59. Belladonna* Bilingue: Women’s Work in Translation (v. 1)
58. Lourdes Vasquez: May the transvestites of my island who tap their heels
57. Maria Negroni: Art and Fugue
56. Caroline Bergvall: GONG
55. Catherine Daly: Surplice
54. Nada Gordon: SOng of My OWnself
53. Joanna Fuhrman: Belladonna* Moraine
52. Susan Briante: Neotropics: A Romancein Field Notes
51. Jen Benka: A Revisioning of the Preamble
50. Leslie Scalapino: ‘Can’t is ‘Night’
49. Veronica Corpuz: Unititled
48. Michelle Naka Pierce: 48 Minutes Left
47. Anne Tardos: A Noisy Nightingale Understands a Tiger’s Camouflage Totally
46. Minnie Bruce Pratt: The Money Machine: Selected Poems
45. Joan Larkin: Boston Piano
44. Julie Patton: “Car Tune” & Not So Bella Donna
43. Summi Kaipa: from Was.Or Am.
42. Maggie Nelson: Something Bright, Then Holes
41. Elaine Equi: Castle, Diamond, Swan
40. Lydia Davis: Cape Cod Diary
39. Suzanne Wise: from The Blur Model
38. Eileen Myles: We, the Poets
37. Caitlin Mcdonnell: Dreaming the Tree
36. Alice Notley: IPHIGENIA
35. Lauren Gudath: Animal & Robot
34. Tonya Foster: A Swarm of Bees in High Court
33. Zhang Er: Cross River. Pick Lotus
32. Jennifer Moxley: The Occasion
31. Chris Tysh: Mother, I (fragment of a film script)
30. Tina Darragh: from rule of dumbs
29. Rosmarie Waldrop: Trace Histories
28. Bhanu Kapil: from The Wolf Girls of Midnapure
27. kari edwards: a diary of lies
26. Anne Waldman: [THINGS] SEEN/UNSEEN
25. Carla Harryman: DIMBLUE and Why Yell
24. Gail Scott: Bottoms Up
23. Jocelyn Saidenberg: Dusty
22. Norma Cole: BURNS
21. Deborah Richards: Put A Feather In It
20. Abigail Child: Artificial Memory vol 1 & vol 2
19. Lynne Tillman: from Weird Fucks & “Dead Talk”
18. Cheryl Pallant: Spontaneities
17. Lila Zemborain: PAMPA
16. Aja Couchois Duncan: Commingled : Sight
15. Adeena Karasick: The Arugula Fugues VII-VIII
14. Lee Ann Brown: The 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Reverse Mermaid
13. Nicole Brossard: The Neck of Lee Miller
12. Rachel Blau DuPlessis: Draft 43: Gap:
11. Kathleen Fraser Soft Pages
10. Lisa Jarnot: Nine Songs
9. Laura Wright: Everything Automatic
8. Mei-mei Berssenbrugge: Audience
7. Beth Murray: 12 Horrors
6. Laura Mullen: Translation Series
5. Fanny Howe: from Indivisible
4. Eleni Sikelianos: from The Book of Jon
3. Cecilia Vicuña, trans. Rosa Alcalá: Bloodskirt
2. Camille Roy: Dream Girls
1. Mary Burger: Eating Belief


  • In a special chapbook issue of American Book Review (Mar/Apr 2005), Corinne Robins reviewed five Belladonna* chaplets in an article called "Belladonna*: The Deadly Night Shades of Experimental Women’s Poetry”[8]
  • In January 2005, Byron Coley and Thurston Moore had this to say about the Belladonna* chaplet series: "Each zine is a succinct piece by a female poet, all of whom share a common sense of adventure and active consciousness. Great writing from Anne Waldman, Eileen Myles, Nada Gordon, Lynne Tillman, Lisa Jarnot, Rosemarie Waldrop and so many others. So if you’re in the market for deadly nightshade, this is the place for you."[9]
  • “Made in the Nightshade” (Poetry Project Newsletter, October/November 2005)
  • “Celebrating Renegade Presses in America” (Poetry Project Newsletter, October/November 2004)
  • “Exotic flower, decayed golds, and the fall of paganism: The 2003 Poets House Poetry Showcase” by Rodney Phillips (Fence Magazine, Fall/ Winter 2003-04)

Reviews of Publications

External links[edit]

Official Belladonna* Website:

Belladonna* Pennsound Page:

Interview with Krystal Languell

Interview With Rachel Levitsky

Review of Deborah Meadows Belladonna Chaplet:

Four From Japan Events on Pennsound:

Report on Four From Japan by American Literary Translators:

Review by Noah Eli Gordon:

Essay in "Numbers Trouble" Forum:

Forum on Small Presses at HOW2:


  1. ^ "History". 
  2. ^ Nicole, Disser. "Independent Presses Not Immune to Diversity Problems that Plague the Rest of the Publishing Industry". Brooklyn Magazine. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "American Book Review". 
  4. ^ "History". 
  5. ^ "Collaborative". 
  6. ^ "Pennsound:Belladonna". 
  7. ^ "Review Policy". 
  8. ^ Robins, Corinne (April 2005). "Belladonna*: The Deadly Night Shades of Experimental Women's Poetry". American Book Review. 26 (3). Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Moore, Thurston; Coley, Byron. "Bull Tongue: Exploring the Voids of All Known Undergrounds". Arthur. Retrieved 21 February 2015.