EXOT BOOKS is a chapbook press devoted to travel in the broadest possible sense. Arthur Rimbaud wrote towards the end of his life, in a letter to his mother: “The world is very large and full of magnificent lands which could not be visited in a thousand lifetimes.” And yet there are forms of travel that allow one to leave one’s world for another without moving anything but the mind—that allow one to travel not only through space and time but also, with a map of language in hand, through the experience of another. And ultimately does not experience define both time and place as much as their more material co-ordinates do? How often have we read of a time and place we thought we knew as our own, only to find it changed through the eyes and by the voice of another?
The great Victorian explorer Sir Richard F. Burton claimed that “a traveler’s legs are like blossoming branches, and he himself grows and gathers the fruit.” EXOT BOOKS is devoted to this ideal of the shared fruits of travel, devoted to the doors that the mysteries of language can open onto those worlds we thought we’d never know, as well as those worlds we thought we knew already.
In 2006 Quincy R. Lehr and myself, R. Nemo Hill, created a small chapbook company in New York City devoted to providing a forum for the sort of poetry we enjoy: a mostly metrical verse that employs, expands, and even explodes received forms. Though the appropriately christened MODERN METRICS has since expanded and exploded beyond itself—now transformed into EXOT BOOKS—an abiding love of the heights as well as the breadth of language remains the press's guiding principle.
Both word and image are of paramount importance to EXOT BOOKS—and thus great care is taken to create an imaginative visual setting for every line of poetry published. All books are printed on 25% linen paper, with endpapers and original artwork on full-color covers. Such care and quality in design are necessarily reflected in our prices (which, please note, already include domestic shipping costs). With many visual and verbal surprises already onstage and many more waiting in the wings, I am confident that each of these books will prove a handsome addition to your poetry bookshelf—as well as a welcome postcard from Elsewhere.
R. Nemo Hill