By Dennis Abrams
The renowned nonprofit Dalkey Archive Press will move its publishing operations this summer from Champaign, IL, to the University of Houston – Victoria.
Dalkey Archive Press has, over the past few decades, published more than 750 works of fiction and poetry. It currently publishes around 50 books a year with an emphasis on works in translation from more than 40 countries.
“Dalkey Archive Press will play a key role in academic programs, international initiatives and campus life at UHV,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, Dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “It will afford our students terrific internship and fellowship opportunities, and the press will be used in the growth and development of existing and new academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
John O’Brien, Dalkey Archive Press founder and publisher, said the relocation to UHV will establish the press with a university that can best help the organization achieve permanence on the American and international literary scene. The relocation also will foster the organization’s educational mission to preserve its exceptional literary heritage for future generations and take on new challenges deep into the 21st century.
“The UHV School of Arts & Sciences is a leader in creating publishing programs for students and will expand that to include this unique translation program,” he said. “We expect that UHV will be a major force in international publishing and translation, accomplishing things that are possible only with a school that has a vision for the future and the flexibility to act quickly.”
Vic Morgan, Interim President at UHV said that Dalkey Archive will be the centerpiece of the School of Arts & Sciences publishing graduate program. The school is also home to the innovative Chax Press and the Cuneiform Press, which specializes in publishing poetry, artists’ books and books about books. The school is also the home of symploke, a comparative literature and theory journal; and the American Book Review, a non-profit, internationally distributed literary journal.
“We are thrilled with the decision to relocate this highly respected organization to the UHV campus,” Morgan said. “Under the direction of Dean Di Leo, UHV has undergone a literary renaissance. The addition of the Dalkey Archive Press will only strengthen our standing as a literary and publishing powerhouse.”
The press started in 1980 as a journal, The Review of Contemporary Fiction. Dalkey Archive Press published its first literary work in 1984. The organization was named after Flann O’Brien’s great comic novel The Dalkey Archive. Its authors include winners of the Noble Prize, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer, and the European Union Prize for Literature.
O’Brien and his staff publish the Review of Contemporary Fiction and CONTEXT magazine, and train emerging translators in the art and practice of literary translation and publishing. This summer, the press is holding an Applied Literary Translation Program with a hybrid of one-on-one Skype meetings along with a two-week intensive workshop in Dublin, Ireland.
Di Leo said the press’s artistic and educational mission ties in well with UHV’s objectives.
“With this relocation, UHV will join in the publishing of educational and literary material directed at promoting and preserving modern and contemporary critical and literary works,” he said. “We can implement a number of educational projects for teachers, writers, researchers, students, translators and the general public. It also could lead to increased student retention, grant funding and community outreach.”