The cover of “Walk With Me” by NYC poet Mark Belair (Parallel Press, 2012).

by Laura Damon-Moore

In honor of National Library Week and National Poetry Month, today’s feature is on a program that served as an early inspiration for the Library as Incubator Project. I have the pleasure of working for Parallel Press, which is part of the UW-Madison Libraries. I have the opportunity to work with many of our wonderful poets – some of whom were among the first to answer our artist survey and be featured on the website.

Parallel Press is a non-profit publisher supported by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. The press publishes chapbooks and books that feature the work of regional poets and authors. In keeping with the Wisconsin Idea, Parallel Press is part of an ongoing commitment by the Libraries to make scholarly works available worldwide.

Parallel Press is also dedicated to supporting the scholarly communication efforts of the Libraries. Communicating the results of scholarly research is essential to building knowledge and helping academics, scholars, and researchers share and publish their research findings so they are available to the wider academic community. To that end, all of the Parallel Press publications are made freely available online.

The poetry chapbook series is an initiative launched in 1999 to revive the publication of small, collectible editions of poetry. The majority of poets have a regional connection and are the recipients of multiple awards and distinctions.

As I said, it is wonderful to work so closely with the poets on their chapbooks and to support the publishing of poetry – particularly the work of poets with a Midwestern or Wisconsin connection. And to think – it’s all happening in a university library!

Many of the Library as Incubator Project’s featured poets are Parallel Press poets too – make sure to check out their library-incubated work:

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