eth press

- postmodern poetries

Author: chris

Call for Papers, Kalamazoo 2016

eth press is pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring a session at the 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May 2016. We are actively seeking participants for this session:

“The grail is the opposite of poetry”: The Medieval Coterie in Jack Spicer’s The Holy Grail

Jack Spicer—a key mid-twentieth–century poet and a member of the “Berkeley Renaissance”—drew upon his obsession with Arthurian romance and the logic he saw in that tradition when he wrote his serial poem The Holy Grail (1962). The book consists of seven poems (“The Book of Percival”, “The Book of Gwenivere”, and the like), each in seven parts. It is clearly a “medievalist” poem, but it is one that is not particularly “driven by the nostalgia of popular culture”, as Nickolas Haydock has said of movie medievalism. However, because scholars of the middle ages have largely ignored the poem, there has not been an adequate examination of the nature of the poetic medievalism at play in the poem and how it might help us think with the medieval texts. This session will include recordings of the poet reading the text, as well as scholars working on medieval (and later) Arthurian literature and on the unexpected ways Spicer and the poets in his circle drew upon medieval texts more generally.

For this session, we seek scholars of contemporary poetry, of Arthuriana, of queer temporality, of medievalism, or scholars who are interested in approaching this poem in other compelling ways. This will be a roundtable, rather than a full paper session. Please send brief abstracts (200-250 words) to Dan Remein and Chris Piuma at ethpress[at] no later than Sept. 15, 2015.

kadar koli 10: “Off the Books”

Call for submissions

Now in its tenth issue, kadar koli has featured essays, poems, art work, translations, and interviews from some of today’s most adventurous writers and artists, including Joyelle McSweeney, Rob Halpern, Diane di Prima, Shin Yu Pai, Gerrit Lansing, Susan Briante, Pattie McCarthy, Ammiel Alcalay, and Megan Cook, among many others. The theme of this issue is “Off the Books,” chosen to coincide with the 4th Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group on October 9-11, 2015 at the University of Toronto. Quoting from BABEL’s call for sessions:

We are calling upon individuals and groups interested in proposing sessions for our 2015 biennial meeting that would explore various histories of the book and bookmaking, as well as consider what it means to go “off the books”: how ideas and various cultural and historical forms leap off from and out of books; how we ourselves are “off of” books and “over” books; what it means to go “off the books” or “off the record”: to go astray, between and off the lines, underground, and illegal, and to be unaccounted for. Going off the books means examining books themselves—their place in our culture, social imaginary, sense of history, and expectations of academic labor and value—while simultaneously examining their edges, aporias, margins, lacunae, and Others. What might be potentialized, opened up, and made when we break books, or break with books? Can we ever really leave books, or are we always somehow interleaved—both in our solitary studies but also within our University-at-large—with the books that have formed our education(s)? Are there ways in which books themselves have provided spaces of subterfuge, for going “outward bound” and “off the record,” for resisting the business-as-usual of the Academy and other institutions? Does going off the books, refusing to keep records, and shredding the evidence-as-usual, while disseminating our ideas in other (more supposedly radically “off-book” forms), allow us to escape surveillance, or does it simply bind us to a surfeit of labors that can never be properly compensated? Will we ever be able to pay the price of our departure(s) from the forms of cultural capital that have ensured so many programs of study, so many positions, so many jobs? And why would we desire this path? We propose the sub-title “making, breaking, binding, burning, leaving, gathering” as a set of keywords (that are, importantly, also verbings and actions) with which we challenge everyone to propose sessions that would investigate the multiple trajectories and valences and entanglements of the past and present of being both bound to and off the books.

(Please visit the conference website for more information.)

This issue of kadar koli will feature a special section of essays, writings, and art that goes “off the books.” In the spirit of the theme, we’re going off the books from “Off the Books,” hoping to include work from scholars, poets, and artists who cannot be at the BABEL conference or are otherwise interested in contributing to this topic, however broadly defined. As with previous issues (and in concert with BABEL), we are most interested in work that pushes at boundaries and challenges preconceived notions of what the book is, or that speculates on what the book was, where it comes from, what it could be. Acknowledging that we are gathering this material into the book form of a journal, we are excited – as editors and designers – to challenge from within our own sense of the limitations and potential of the format. In keeping with the ethos of eth press and its parent imprint, punctum books, this issue of kadar koli will be available as an open-access download via our web site, in addition to a print-on-demand book.

Please send inquiries to co-editors Lisa Ampleman (lisa.ampleman [at]
and David Hadbawnik (dhadbawnik [at]

Deadline for work EXTENDED: November 5, 2015.

kadar koli = ‘whenever’ in Slovene; for information on past issues, visit Habenicht Press.

eth welcomes Lisa Ampleman

The editors of eth press are pleased to welcome Lisa Ampleman to the team. Ampleman most recently contributed to the collaborative re-imagining of the ‘Pearl’ poems in eth press’s release Cotton Nero A.x, and we are all excited to bring her on board this medievalist-creative project. In the coming months, we also expect to announce our next slate of book publications and other plans for the next year.

Lisa Ampleman is the author of a book of poetry, Full Cry (NFSPS Press, 2013), and a chapbook, I’ve Been Collecting This to Tell You (Kent State University Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, 32 Poems, Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. A graduate of the Ph.D. program at the University of Cincinnati, Ampleman lives in Cincinnati.

Call for Papers, Kalamazoo 2015

eth press is pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring our first session at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May 2015. We are actively seeking paper proposals for this session:

False Friends

Thomas Meyer’s Beowulf (2012, but written in the 1970s) has garnered praise from academic circles, including a positive review in the October 2013 issue of Speculum, and from poetry circles, with comments on and excerpts from the text appearing in Jacket2. Yet one review calls it an “adaptation” and another takes issue with Meyer’s “capricious and arbitrary” poetic license. More recently, as Jonathan Hsy and Candace Barrington relate in a forthcoming article, Patience Agbabi’s The Canterbury Copy (2014) “troubles standard distinctions between appropriation, translation, and interpretation.” Nevertheless, they also argue that, by reworking The Canterbury Tales with immigrant-pilgrims drawn from her own experience in London, Agbabi’s approach forces the reader to confront anew some of the language and translation problems of the original poem. This suggests that an overemphasis on the categories of translation vs. adaptation, academic vs. creative, might provide barriers to interacting with and thinking about medieval poems. This panel will ask critical questions around these barriers: What makes something a translation, something else not? Why do we care, and what does that caring mean? How can we think beyond such categories to arrive at deeper truths that medievalist reworkings might disclose?

For this session, we seek papers that address recent reworkings of medieval material with some of the above questions in mind. Please send brief abstracts (200-250 words) to Chris Piuma (chris.piuma [at] or David Hadbawnik (dh37 [at] no later than Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

New books from eth


Various — Cotton Nero A.x — coverPattie McCarthy - fifteen genre scenes - coverSam Lohmann — Unless As Stone Is — cover

Our first publications are now available!

fifteen genre scenes is a scribal edition of new poems by Pattie McCarthy—which is to say, each copy will be written out by hand.

Unless As Stone Is is a serial poem by Sam Lohmann that emerges from a long entanglement with a sestina by Dante.

Coming soon: Cotton Nero A.x has David Hadbawnik, Daniel C. Remein, Chris Piuma, and Lisa Ampleman retrace the four major poems of the ‘Pearl’ poet (“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, “Pearl”, “Cleanness”, and “Patience”).

Our books—except for scribal editions—are available in two formats: a printed book, or a downloadable PDF. The PDFs can be downloaded for free—or, better yet, for a donation. We are an imprint of punctum books, a non-profit independent press; a contribution of any size will help keep them—and us!—afloat. Please donate today.

All about ð

eth press is a parascholarly poetry press interested in publishing innovative poetry that is inspired by, adapted from, or otherwise inhabited by medieval texts.

eth [ð] is a letter that was once part of the English alphabet, which lives on in other alphabets (Icelandic, Faroese, the International Phonetic Alphabet). It is a reminder of a piece of language (a technology of expression) that English cast aside. It marks a sound that is rare in other languages, that causes trouble when others try to learn it. We are interested in the possibilities of poetries written under this sign.

eth press is an imprint of punctum books, an open-access and print-on-demand independent publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanities assemblage. We are fully on board with this. Following punctum‘s lead, most of our books will be published as open-access and print-on-demand; we are interested in the wide distribution and dissemination of this poetry. But we are also interested in connecting medieval publishing technologies to contemporary texts, and so we plan to explore the possibilities of scribal editions as well.

David Hadbawnik, Chris Piuma, and Dan Remein are the editors of eth press, and we can be contacted at ethpress [at] We are currently accepting proposals and submissions.