Dear Peter Fos, President of the University of New Orleans, Louis Paradise, Provost of the University of New Orleans, and Susan Krantz, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts of the University of New Orleans,
We have started this petition to request that Bill Lavender, Director of UNO Press, be allowed to keep his position.
UNO Press is international in its range of publications and status here and abroad. Although of great value regionally, its list of authors has always been national and international in scope. In fact less than half of the poets in the newly established Contemporary Poetry can be considered regional.
Bill Lavender has been at the helm since 2007, re-establishing UNO Press after a decade of dormancy. Both as a writer and fine editor, Lavender enjoys a remarkable reputation among contemporary writers. Over 100 titles have been published by the press, across an impressive range of subjects, from Contemporary Poetry, to the Engaged Writers Series (including Reginald Martin’s Everybody Knows What Time It Is, winner of the Deep South Writers Competition), The Ezra Pound Center for Literature, The Neighborhood Story Project, and Contemporary Austrian Studies.
The Contemporary Poetry section is one of the few university press venues for contemporary avant-garde poetry, its peers such institutional presses as Wesleyan, University of California, and the University of Iowa, extraordinary company. The role UNO Press now plays in contemporary poetry publishing enhances the reputation not only of the press but of UNO itself both nationally and internationally.
The Engaged Writers Series gives a forum to new work, often in translation, challenging the status quo formally, aesthetically, politically: from the innovations of Venezuelan writer Jose Antonio Ramos to the letters of Morrocan artists and scholars Rita El Khayat & Abdelkébir Khatibi navigating the cultural, political and social landscape of contemporary Morocco, to an anthology of Andre Bazin’s essays on French cinema. The Ezra Pound Center for Literature publishes contemporary work extending the foundational work of Pound, from new American and European writing to a critical anthology of Imagist poetry. UNO Press, under the guidance of director Bill Lavender, has an extraordinary range and keen sense for the scholarship and creative work which needs to be available
For a better outlook on UNO Press editorial choices under Bill Lavender’s stewardship, mentioned are prize-winning authors and books published by UNO Press:
Moira Crone, recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award (Fellowship of Southern Writers) for her body of work, is the author of The Not Yet.
Spanish poet Juana Castro, winner of the XXI Premio Jaen de Poesia prize (2005), is the author of the UNO Press collection Narcisia.
Antonio Gamoneda, Nobel Prize nominated poet and winner of the 2006 Cervantes prize, his work appears in English for the first time with UNO Press’ Gravestones (Lapidas).
Reginald Martin’s Everybody Knows What Time It Is, winner of the Deep South Writers Competition.
Sergio Medeiros, nominated for the prestigious Jabuti Prize, appears for the first time in English via UNO Press.
Adam J. Sorkin, translator of Medea and her War Machines, is the winner of the Ioan Flora Prize for Translation (May 2012) and recipient of the Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize and the Prize for European Poetry Translation (Poetry Society, London). His UNO translation of Medea and her War Machines has advanced to the second round of the 2012 National Translation Awards.
Rob Smith’s Gravedigger, Gold Medal Winner, Faulkner-Wisdom Award.
Venezuelean poet Jose Antonio Ramos Sucre, winner of the 2006 Rufino Blanco Fombono Prize, work appears for the first time in English translation with UNO’s Antonio Ramos Sucre: Selected Works.
Finally, UNO Press is a self-supporting entity, a rare quality among university presses, providing invaluable service to the wider scholarly and writing communities locally, nationally, and internationally: a treasure brilliantly nurtured by its Director, Bill Lavender.
A university's most enduring reputation among scholars, writers, and artists is the quality and productivity of its university press, as vital to the intellectual and aesthetic life of its community and peers, as the football team to students, future students, and fans. Lavender’s UNO Press is a gift not only to UNO but to a wide community of scholars, writers, and readers who benefit so richly from its, and Lavender’s, work. UNO Press and its guiding light, Bill Lavender, merit the full and complete support of UNO, its faculty, its students, and its administration.
Marthe Reed, PhD, MFA, Director of Creative Writing, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Skip Fox, PhD, Professor, English Department, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Anny Ballardini, MFA, University of Verona, Certified Journalist, Translator and Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreter
You should have any further questions, please contact us at:
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