By Nerea Campos Godoy, translated by Valentina Morotti | @ValeMorotti
The Spanish publishing industry is facing radical changes in the digital era, but poetry is often overlooked in discussions about these changes. Has it been disregarded because it is a minor genre? What kind of experimentation is happening in Spanish poetry publishing today?
Thanks to new technology, many new Spanish poetry publishers have launched and are now growing their presence. The poetic landscape has grown considerably, together with new ways of editing, promoting and understanding poetry. These new publishers focus on quality over their economic interests and make the most of the web.
Many projects, exclusively digital, are now taking the scene. For them, going online presents evident advantages: it lowers costs and simplifies the connection among authors, journalists, booksellers, readers, translators, illustrators, photographers, proofreaders, printing companies, etc. It also makes it easier to organize presentations and readings.
Ultimately, the web has broken the physical constraints of publishing poetry and has made it available to far more people than ever before.
Spanish Poetry Publishers to Watch
There are a number of well-established poetry publishers in Spain working on new projects, including Visor, Pre-Textos, Renacimiento and Hiperión.
Eleven-year-old La Bella Varsovia stands out for having established itself as a cornerstone in Spanish poetry. Two other established publishers, El Gaviero and Delirio, treat their books as artistic objects.
On the other hand, there are a myriad of young and small publishers supporting new authors, taking risks and trying to change the perception of poetry. Among these newcomers are La Isla de Siltolá, Frida Ediciones and Kriller 71.
Publisher Esto No Es Berlín (This is not Berlin) is an innovative project in which authors work on a creative commons basis so that their poems can circulate freely. ENEB works on a self-management basis, collaborating with ethical bank Triodos, within the framework of a cultural activities financing program.
All these initiatives share a common goal: cultural activism. Digitization has allowed the creation of new areas of exchange, where literary canons have become more flexible. Production systems have changed because printing costs are lower than in the past. Social networks and blogs fuel both the spread and the creation of poetry. New voices can thus participate: unknown authors, critics, readers or publishers. Under such circumstances, poetic production is flourishing.
This is the reason why poetry publishers launched after or during the last financial crisis are unique. They are literary projects rather than business initiatives. They operate under the idea that content of the highest quality is the only way to attract readers and guarantee their loyalty.
A version of this article was originally published in Spanish by magazine Trama y Texturas magazine.