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date: 26 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines changes in poetry publishing since the 1960s, and the various forms of poetic community these changes shape and are shaped by. This period has seen the large-scale withdrawal of commercial publishers from poetry, and in the space left behind, the proliferation of small-press ventures and of State-subsidized independent poetry publishers. These patterns are closely related to larger changes within publishing, such as the formation of large conglomerates and the attendant pressures of market profitability for commercial publishers. They are also related to technological developments (such as mimeography and, more recently, print-on-demand) and to social changes (such as the expansion of higher education). The essay gives an overview of these phenomena, and examines the nature and extent of their bearing on poetry as a social and aesthetic activity.

Keywords: book history, publishing, trade press, small press, subsidy, Arts Council, bibliography, book design, community, economics

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