Burning Deck Press

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Burning Deck was a small press specializing in the publication of experimental poetry and prose. Burning Deck was founded by the writers Keith Waldrop and Rosmarie Waldrop in 1961 and closed in 2017.


Although the Waldrops initially promoted Burning Deck magazine as a "quinterly", after only four issues the periodical was transformed into a series of pamphlets. The transformation continued later until the press became a publisher of books of poetry and short fiction.[1]

The magazine published poets from different styles and schools. The main split in poets of that time was said to be the one between the "academics" and the "beats", but Burning Deck ignored that split to the point where authors sometimes complained of being published in the company of others so different from themselves.[1]

By 1985, the economics of publishing had changed and it became financially more feasible to print regular books on offset presses and use letterpress work for smaller chapbooks, something the Waldrops have noted in the history of the enterprise (Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop, Burning Deck: A History) they wrote and published together. The Waldrops continued to design and print books that are made to last (using smyth-sewn, acid-free paper) but tried to keep the price affordable.[1]

Notable books[edit]

Although Burning Deck is a small, nonprofit press, it has published works of innovative writing, including (alphabetical by author):


Burning Deck publishes two series of translation: Serie d'ecriture presents a new book of contemporary French poetry each year; Dichten= presents an annual volume of contemporary German writing.


  1. ^ a b c Forty Years of Burning Deck Press 1961 - 2001 Archived August 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine at Brown University Library Web site in conjunction with an exhibit on the press, accessed January 28, 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Becker, Eric M. B. "Experimental Poetry Press Closes Shop: An Interview with Burning Deck's Rosmarie Waldrop". Words Without Borders. Retrieved 29 May 2021.

External links[edit]