EXOT BOOKS is a small 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 Mind. “A traveler’s legs are like blossoming branches, and he himself grows and gathers the fruit,” claimed the great Victorian explorer Sir Richard F. Burton. EXOT BOOKS is devoted to this imaginal ideal of the 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 a small chapbook press appeared on the scene in New York City, a press designed to providing a forum for the sort of poetry its editors, R. Nemo Hill & Quincy R. Lehr, were most fascinated by—a mostly metrical verse that employs, expands, and even explodes received forms. Though the appropriately christened MODERN METRICS has since expanded and exploded beyond its origins—transformed into EXOT BOOKS—an abiding love of the heights as well as the breadth of language remain the press's guiding principle.
Both word and image are of paramount importance to EXOT BOOKS—and thus great care has been taken to create an imaginative visual setting for every line of poetry published. Our original staple-bound chapbooks are all printed on 25% linen paper, with endpapers and original artwork on full-color covers. Our more recent perfect-bound books, designed by Julio M. Perea, are produced with comparable attention to detail. 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.
Bon Voyage, R. Nemo Hill, Winter 2021