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ON BEING ILL with NOTES FROM SICK ROOMS, Virginia Woolf's and her mother's books in print together for the first time.

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SOLITUDE OF SELF, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's demand for equal education for all, to help develop skills of self-reliance..

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THE LIFE OF POETRY, Muriel Rukeyser's essays on the need for poetry and the arts in a full and compassionate life.

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Part fantasy account of Harry Houdini's life and the symbols of imprisonment and freedom he embodied as an illusionist

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THE ORGY, Muriel Rukeyser's transformative memoir of traveling to Puck Fair in Ireland, with a preface by Sharon Olds.

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THE BOSNIA ELEGIES, Adrian Oktenberg's acclaimed elegies about the war in Bosnia: connecting intimate stories of war.

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SIMON SAYS, Ashfield-based poet Jan Freeman's finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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TELL ME ANOTHER MORNING, Zdena Berger's acclaimed autobiographical novel about 3 girls coming of age in the Nazi camps.

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SISTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY, with stories, poems, and essays by Margaret Atwood, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Walker, and more.

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AUTUMN SEQUENCE, a handsewn limited edition of passion and longing; drawings by Siena Sanderson, poems by Jan Freeman.

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ORDINARY WORDS, Ruth Stone's National Book Critics Circle Award collection that launched her into public acclaim.

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SIMPLICITY, Ruth Stone's most exquisite collection of poems. Accessible, funny, tragic, and utterly profound.

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THE PLAYER'S BOY, Bryher's tale of an actor's life in Elizabethan England overcome by oppression of the Jacobean era.

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THE HEART TO ARTEMIS: A MEMOIR, Bryher's Victorian childhood; her years with H.D.; Paris with Stein, Hemingway; the War.

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VISA FOR AVALON, Bryher's novel about the dangers of apathy, acclaimed by Azar Nafisi, and Margaret Atwood in the NYRB.

Paris Press publishes groundbreaking yet overlooked literature by women and educates the public about these unique and life-changing books.

Director of Paris Press Jan Freeman is a poet and the Press's founder. In the 80s, in NYC, she heard the poets Galway Kinnell, Stanley Kunitz, Sharon Olds, Michael Harper, and Nina Cassian talk about Rukeyser's collection of essays The Life of Poetry. She tried to find the book, but discovered it had been stolen from all the public and university libraries in New York! After a 6 year search, she discovered The Life of Poetry in the window of a second-hand bookshop in the Village.

Jan paid $40 for the book — more than she had ever spent on a book before. But it was worth every cent. The Life of Poetry was the most inspiring, affirming, and comforting book she had ever read. It expresses the importance of living with poetry and the arts at the center of our lives. For those uncomfortable with poetry and the arts, The Life of Poetry addresses the fear that teachers often create because they teach poetry and the arts as if they are mathematical equations — with correct and incorrect meaning. In the book, Muriel Rukeyser says that everyone needs to live with poetry and the arts to help us feel deeply. When we feel deeply, we become more sensate and compassionate human beings.

Because the book was out of print since 1974, Jan decided she needed to publish it for other people to experience the encouragement that Muriel Rukeyser offers people from all backgrounds by valuing the arts and poetry as essential components in a vital society. The arts and poetry promote free thought, the imagination, and a caring society.

Jan wanted to give the book to everyone who could read. She wanted to stand on street corners and hand it out, put it in motel rooms next to the Bible, or instead of the Bible. With the help of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Jan applied for and received 501 (c )(3) status, raised money for the first time, and helped typeset and design the book. In 1996, The Life of Poetry was available in bookstores around the country.

Publishing the book was not enough, however. Jan organized educational programs and readings of The Life of Poetry and sent the book to major publications, where it was reviewed: The Nation, The Boston Globe, The NYT, The Progressive, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and regional publications including The Springfield Republican, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and The Advocate.The collection of essays was launched in Provincetown, with Marge Piercy, a retired physicist, a painter, and another poet. Then it was celebrated in Northampton with Mayor Mary Ford, and members of the literary, theater, dance, painting, and commerce communities.

Rukeyser believed that boundaries between disciplines are false, and all fields, all people are connected — and poetry is inside everything.

From its founding in 1995, Paris Press published other great books by women that had been overlooked. The list of authors includes Emily Dickinson and Susan Huntington Dickinson, Ruth Stone, Audre Lorde, Adrian Oktenberg, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rita Dove, Lan Samantha Chang, Wendy Wasserstein, Zdena Berger, Virginia Woolf and her mother, Julia Stephen, Alice Walker, Tsipi Keller, Ana Maria Jomolca, Grace Paley.

A major part of the Press’s mission is to educate the public about the great literary contributions of women writers. The Press paid tribute to honorary Board Member Eleanor Lazarus of Ashfield (1947–2013), by launching the Eleanor Lazarus Educational Outreach Initiative to support educational programming in Western MA and around the country with workshops, readings, discussion groups, symposia, and reading and study guides for classroom use. The Press is also educating the public through film, video, and audio projects. Muriel Rukeyser: A Life in Poetry is its first dicumentary in progress.

Paris Press exists because of the generosity of individual donors, family foundations, and public foundation (the NEA, MCC, MFH, the Art Angels, the Xeric Foundation, etc.). Individual donors are the most important supporters for the Press. The Press is grateful for contributions of any size, from $10 up, and it welcome stock contributions as well.

Paris Press values being part of the Pioneer Valley, and at least 70 percent of our programs are in local venues, such as senior centers, schools, libraries, and community centers in Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Counties. If you have ideas for events or want to volunteer for the Press, please contact info@parispress.org. Paris Press is a proud participant of Valley Gives and honored to be a member of Ashfield and the Western Massachusetts community.

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Organization Information

P.O. Box 487 ASHFIELD, MA 01330

(413) 628-0051



Paris Press publishes groundbreaking yet overlooked literature by women and educates the public about these unique and life-changing books.

EIN: 043302441

Reports: Guidestar


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