Black Sparrow Press

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Black Sparrow Press
Parent companyGodine
FounderJohn Martin
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationBoston
DistributionIngram / Two Rivers
Key peopleJoshua Bodwell, Editorial Director
Publication typesBooks
Fiction genresPoetry, Literary fiction
No. of employees5

Black Sparrow Press is a New England based independent book publisher, known for literary fiction and poetry.


Black Sparrow was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1966 by John Martin in order to publish the works of Charles Bukowski and other avant-garde authors. Barbara Martin co-founded the press with her husband and, as the press's lead designer, she was responsible for its distinctive and bold covers. After 35 years, and 700 titles, John Martin sold the company in 2002.[1]

In 2020, John Martin agreed that editor Joshua Bodwell at Godine would be his successor to continue Black Sparrow's publishing legacy. In early 2020, the press released Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems, the first new edition of work by Wanda Coleman since the author's passing in 2013; the collection is edited and introduced by Terrance Hayes. Coleman is a long-time Black Sparrow author and one of its most important poets.[2]

In March 2020, as part of a relaunch of its parent company, Black Sparrow joined Two Rivers Distribution, an Ingram brand, for sales of its titles to readers worldwide.[3]

Notable awards and honors[edit]

Eddie Chuculate, PEN/O. Henry Prize 2007.

Wanda Coleman, Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize 1999,[4] National Book Award Poetry Finalist 2001.[5]

Naomi Replansky, William Carlos Williams Award 2013, Poetry Society of America [6]


  1. ^ Benson, Heidi (29 July 2002). "Black Sparrow Press shuts its doors / Indie publisher sells Bukowski, Fante and Bowles titles to HarperCollins". Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  2. ^ "The Fearless Invention of One of L.A.'s Greatest Poets". The New Yorker. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  3. ^ "David R. Godine Joins Two Rivers Distribution". Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize | Academy of American Poets". Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Wanda Coleman". Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Award Winners". Retrieved 18 December 2021.

External links[edit]