Black Sparrow Books  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Black Sparrow Books, formerly known as Black Sparrow Press, is a book publisher originally founded in 1966 by John Martin of Santa Rosa, California. He founded this company in order to publish the works of Charles Bukowski and other avant-garde authors. He initially financed this company by selling his large collection of rare first editions. 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, which are still unique today.

Black Sparrow Press most prominently published the work of authors Charles Bukowski, John Fante, and Paul Bowles. A more complete list is shown below.. These artists, now considered part of a contemporary 'alternative tradition,' were first established and nurtured under the auspices of Black Sparrow Press.

Black Sparrow Press sold the rights to publish Bukowski, Bowles and Fante to HarperCollins Publishers in 2002. At this point, John Martin retired. 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

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






Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Black Sparrow Books" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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