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Library Celebrates Achievements of Burning Deck Press, Closing Down After 57 Years

Published Date: 
May 7, 2018

Writers Will Read Works Published by the Iconic Rhode Island Poetry Publisher

Rochambeau Library will host In Splendour Wild, a celebration to honor Burning Deck Press. Founded in 1961 by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, Burning Deck Press grew from a magazine to a leading-edge publisher of poetry and prose that produced high quality, yet affordable printed works. Poets participating in the evening event include Alison Bundy, Catherine Imbriglio, Jennifer Martenson, Sawako Nakayasu, Gale Nelson, Ray Ragosta, Craig Watson, Xue Di and, of course, the Waldrops themselves. In Splendour Wild takes place Monday, May 14, 2018 6:00PM - 8:30PM. Burning Deck Press publications will be available for purchase.

Burning Deck Press began as the producer of a quinterly magazine but quickly developed into a publisher of poetry books and,occasionally, of short fiction. In the early 1960s, the poetry world was divided into the opposing camps of academics and beats but Burning Deck Press took the radical step of ignoring the distinction. Over the years, the Waldrops occasionally published famous poets but their commitment remained primarily to lesser known and unpublished authors. In 1984, Burning Deck merged with ANYART: Contemporary Arts Center, becoming the literature program of this nonprofit organization. In the 1990s, it added series that featured French and German language writing in English translation. Keith retired as a Professor at Brown University in 2011 and Brown University Library continues to hold an archives and a complete collection of the Burning Deck imprints. Keith and Rosmarie are both award-winning writers and translators and have published multiple works.

“The closing down of the Burning Deck Press marks the end of an era for the literary arts in Rhode Island and beyond," said Jeff Cannell, Library Director. "PCL is very proud to bring the community together to recognize the remarkable contribution made to poetry by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop.”

Rochambeau Library,one of the nine locations of Providence Community Library (PCL), is at 708 Hope Street.