In October of this year the bookshelves holding the Gaus Collection in Room 2191 unexpectedly collapsed. Since all of the items had to be moved while the shelving was repaired, it seemed a good time to review and update the holdings. Kira Cronin-Hennessy, College Library’s ISIP intern at the time, delved into researching contemporary publishers of poetry, especially those featuring work by less-represented poets. As a result, over 50 new titles have been ordered for the Gaus Collection.
Among the publishing houses whose work will be added to the collection is Kaya Press, a company dedicated to publishing Asian and Pacific Islander writers in the United States. There is also Kore Press, a company dedicated to publishing the works of women, “specifically writers of color and members of the LGBTQ communities.” Futurepoem is small press in New York City that publishes innovative and contemporary works from under-represented writers.
There are also small presses that publish lesser-known authors here in the midwest. Both Coffee House Press and Milkweed Editions are based in the Twin Cities and have published nationally-renowned authors. Some of the titles that will be at College Library soon include Beneath The Spanish, How To Be Perfect: An Illustrated Guide, I Know Your Kind and Good Stock Strange Blood.
The Gaus Collection, named in memory of former political science professor John Gaus, contains modern British and American poetry, literary studies, and books on the art of creative writing. Many of the original books were donated from Gaus’s personal library and users may find his signature on the inside cover of a volume or two. Gaus, who taught at UW-Madison before moving to Harvard, was an influential expert in public administration and known for his ability to integrate his knowledge of interdisciplinary subjects in decision-making.
For more information on the Gaus Collection, please see Caelin Ross’s excellent article in The Library As Incubator Project.