In the fall of 1977, A. Poulin, Jr., an English professor at the State University of New York at Brockport and also a poet and translator himself, began out of his home office and garage BOA Editions, Ltd., a small press devoted to publishing poetry. At the time, I was a student at Brockport, finishing a bachelor’s degree in English and preparing to continue on there and begin teaching and working toward my MA in English with a creative thesis. This is when the idea for MAMMOTH books was born. The name, however, came later.
In the fall of 1978, on a magical night in October, Andrei Voznesensky, the famous Russian poet who had read to hundreds of thousands in his home country and hobnobbed with the Kennedy’s and other celebrities in America, gave the college a gift before his reading: a tuft of hair from a mammoth that had been discovered frozen in the ice from the region of the then Soviet Union where he came from and perfectly preserved.
When Voznesensky handed Poulin, who had introduced him, the tuft of mammoth hair, the region of my brain that loved and still loves puns, like the name of the now defunct Bench Press, lit up like torch fire: the press I wanted to start, after meeting a talented young poet named Vincent McKenna at a SUNY Writers’ Festival and after having the opportunity as part of a class project to publish a manuscript of poems by the SUNY Oswego poet Lewis Turco, MAMMOTH press, now MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books, was born. Everything Voznesensky said after “Do not be afraid. This is how we read poetry in Russia,” is a blur.
MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books is now incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Pennsylvania and recognized as a charitable organization under 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax code. As such, MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books is eligible for grants, and any donations made to us are fully deductible.
To date, the majority of the financial support for MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books has come from me, Antonio Vallone, the president/publisher. Money I earn from teaching overload classes and writing workshops and from doing readings and talks about publishing/editing is donated to MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books. However, since we received our tax-free status with the IRS, one small grant and several donations have come in, and we hope to secure more funds in this way.
MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books has a freelance designer, Mary Kay Stoddard, and a part-time accountant, Jo Randolph. They are the only employees who are paid for their services besides our printers, the digital division of Offset Paperback Manufacturers Inc.. Robert McGovern has joined MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books as a volunteer editor.
Read big. Write big. Publish small. Join the herd. Get wooly with us.
MAMMOTH press inc./MAMMOTH books hopes you’ll enjoy our books long after I’m discovered frozen and perfectly preserved in the ice. You can order them here from our web site, from Small Press Distribution, from Amazon.com, or from a bookstore on your own stretch of tundra.
President | Publisher
MAMMOTH press inc. | MAMMOTH books