Black Sparrow Books

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Black Sparrow Books
Parent companyDavid R. Godine
FounderJohn Martin
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationBoston
Publication typesBooks

Black Sparrow Books, formerly known as Black Sparrow Press, is a publishing company founded in 1966 by John Martin in order to publish the works of Charles Bukowski and other avant-garde authors. Martin financed the start-up of the company by selling his large collection of rare first editions.

Black Sparrow Press is best known for publishing the work of Charles Bukowski, John Fante, and Paul Bowles; these authors are now considered to be part of a contemporary alternative tradition. Many Black Sparrow Press titles have become highly collectible.[1]

Martin was the figurehead of this company; the typography and printing were the work of Graham Mackintosh of San Francisco, Noel Young and Edwards Brothers, Inc. Barbara Martin oversaw all of the title page and cover designs.

When John Martin retired in 2002, Black Sparrow Press sold the publishing rights to Bukowski's, Bowles' and Fante's books to HarperCollins. Martin then sold the remainder of his inventory for $1.00 to David R. Godine, Publisher who adopted the name Black Sparrow Books. Godine is now the exclusive licensed distributor of Black Sparrow Books while HarperCollins continues to print and reprint the books by Bukowski, Fante and Bowles, replicating the original designs. In 2010, Black Sparrow published Door to the River, a collection of essays by Aram Saroyan; Well Then There Now, a collection of poems by Juliana Spahr, and Cheyenne Madonna, a collection of linked short stories by Eddie Chuculate. Copies of all editions of Charles Bukowski's works published by the Black Sparrow Press are held at Western Michigan University, which purchased the archive of the publishing house after its closure in 2003.

Selected authors[edit]

Black Sparrow has published works by the following writers and artists:


External links[edit]