Featured Title

Jonathan Williams: The Lord of Orchards
Edited by Jeffery Beam and Richard Owens
Paperback ISBN 978-1-63226-087-1
496 pages
$30.00 US / $40.00 CN
Publication Date: September 26, 2017

The Lord of Orchards
selects his fruit
in the Firmament’s

“Of all the Black Mountain poets (teachers and disciples alike), Jonathan Williams is the wittiest, the least constrained, the most joyous.” – The New York Times

“This master of anathema has also a sense of wonder and awe at human quality, at the surviving marvels of landscape on both sides of the Atlantic and at the metaphoric power of both words and music.” – John Russell, The New York Times

The Jargon Society publisher, Jonathan Williams, was a whirlwind of creativity—a poet of considerable stature, book designer, editor, photographer, letter writer, critic, proselytizer of visionary folk art, curmudgeon, gardener, resolute walker, and always an adroit raconteur and gourmand.

At the forefront of the Modernist avant-garde, yet possessing a deep appreciation of the traditional, Williams and his seminal press nurtured the work of hundreds of emerging or neglected poets, writers, artists, and photographers. A recordist of the peculiarities of American and British vernacular speech, he tirelessly advocated the beauty of the mundane and the strange.

Buckminster Fuller once called Williams “our Johnny Appleseed.” Critic Guy Davenport described him as a “kind of polytechnic institute,” while Hugh Kenner hailed Jargon as “the Custodian of Snowflakes” and Williams as “the truffle-hound of American poetry.”

This book of essays, images, and shouts aims to bring new eyes and contexts to Williams’ influence and talent as poet and publisher. One might call his life a poetics of gathering, and this book a first harvest.

Order from Perseus Distribution (800) 343-4499 – or your favorite bookseller.

Henry and the Huckleberries: A visit with Mr. Thoreau at Walden Pond
Written by Sally Sanford
Illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Ilse Plume
Hardcover ISBN 978-1-63226-076-5
32 pages
10 x 8 inches
$17.99 US / $23.99 CN
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Children’s picture book, ages 3 to 7

In celebration of the Thoreau bicentennial (1817-2017)

The great naturalist, Henry David Thoreau, takes his young friends, including Edward Emerson (the son of Ralph Waldo Emerson) and Louisa May Alcott, berry picking near Walden Pond and turns a mishap into a gentle lesson about nature.

Based on a true story, this delightful work of “reality fiction” uses a technique inspired by Louisa May Alcott. Thoreau taught Alcott a great deal about the natural world and about the rich world of the imagination. Sally Sanford has deftly woven these strands into the book, and award-winning illustrator Ilse Plume’s images capture the enduring beauty and tranquility of Walden Pond and its neighboring woods.

“Henry and the Huckleberries beautifully conveys Henry David Thoreau’s love of nature and his tenderness toward children. Louisa May Alcott adored Henry, went on many of his huckleberry parties, and later wrote of their excursions, often weaving him into her fiction. Louisa would have loved this charming book, based on an actual huckleberry party with her young friend, Edward Emerson. Alcott fans are in for a treat!”
~ Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Home of Little Women

“…a compelling story true to Thoreau’s character and his kind and empathetic understanding of children…a welcome and needed addition to the Bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth.”
~ Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections, The Walden Woods Project/The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods


Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault
by Cary Fowler with photographs by Mari Tefre and Jim Richardson
Introduction by Sir Peter Crane
160 pages – September 6, 2016
Hardcover – 978-1-63226-058-1– $45.00 US / $58.00 CN

In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Cary Fowler reminds us of our debt to the world of plants and our responsibility for forward-looking stewardship of the variety of plant life, especially of the genetic variety of those plants that are the foundation of global agriculture. It is a personal and passionate reminder that we should not take our reliance on the world of plants for granted, and that in a changing and unpredictable world, the only way to make sure that agriculture remains productive and is resilient for the future, is to ensure that it is adaptable. This book is a plea for the importance of diversity and the need for action to secure the future of plentiful and nutritious food for all. Along with water, food is a pre-requisite for our continuing human existence.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a key component of global efforts to secure the diversity of our most important crop plants to ensure that they meet our needs for the long term, and this book tells us the inside story of how the vault came to be. It is a more complex and nuanced story than the “Doomsday Vault” romanticized by the popular press, but in the end the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an elegantly simple and pragmatic response to a pressing global need. 

It is an insurance policy for the future of global agriculture. And one that we hope will rarely need to be cashed in.

This is an engaging book on a serious subject. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault began only a few years ago as a visionary concept. Today it is reality. Its importance for the long term is hard to overstate. If you doubt it, just stop for moment and reflect on two simple questions: can we afford to take chances with the future of agriculture? And what else that we are creating today will still be relevant, many centuries from now, not just for a select few, but also for all of humanity?

Cary Fowler served as the Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust from 2005 to 2012. The trust’s mandate is to ensure “the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide.”
Fowler was influential in the creation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Fowler has received several honorary degrees, including an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Simon Fraser University,and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from Rhodes College. He received the Right Livelihood Award with Pat Mooney in 1985 for his work in agriculture and the preservation of biodiversity. Fowler has also received the Vavilov Medal from the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In 2010, he was one of ten recipients of the 16th Heinz Awards (with special focus on global change). In 2012, he was awarded the “Wind Beneath my Wings” award jointly with his wife Amy P. Goldman at Bette Midler’s annual “Hulaween” party. He was the baccalaureate speaker at the 2013 Rhodes College commencement ceremonies and received the 2015 William L. Brown Award for Excellence in Genetic Resource Conservation from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Sir Peter Crane was the dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is the former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London. He is a fellow of the Royal Society, a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2002. He was awarded a knighthood on 12 June 2004.

Mari Tefre is a Norwegian photographer best known for her work on XLTV (1998), Seeds of Time (2013) and Seed Warriors (2010). In 2003 she moved to Svalbard to work with culture productions and children in the worlds northernmost community, Longyearbyen. She started capturing scenes of the Svalbard nature, society and wildlife. She provided international media with spectacular footage and tv-material from the Arctic in the period 2004 – 2013. Now she is back in Oslo, working with event production at NRK Aktivum.

Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine. Richardson has photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic.

Richardson’s work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic peaks to below the surface of swamps and wetlands. ABC News Nightline produced a story about the long process of assembling a National Geographic coverage by following Richardson in the field and at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“Like the crystalline, fiber-optic sculpture at its portal, the vault is a beacon of optimism and comity in a world that may seem cold and dark. It is a gift to the entire human family for generations to come. Santa, an Arctic neighbor, no doubt would approve.”
—Adrian Higgins, Washington Post

“[Seeds on Ice] reads like a cross between a coffee-table title and a TED talk. . . . Because the Global Seed Vault isn’t open to the public, Fowler’s book is the only view of it most of us will ever get—which is why the coffee-table book format actually works. So as Fowler catalogs the history of agriculture, the long road of crop diversification and, more recently, of how many varieties have already been lost, we get stunning photography to keep us turning the pages. . . . If the pictures of polar bears and collapsing ice shelves aren’t message enough of the timeliness of both the project and the book, Fowler also notes that the Global Seed Vault has already proved its worth. The first seed withdrawal came in 2015, when deposits that had been made from a gene bank in Syria were sent back to help re-establish the banks in the region.”
The Los Angeles Times

“If you’re already familiar with the Global Seed Vault and understand the crucial role it might play in the future of humanity, you can think of Cary Fowler’s new book as a beautiful coffee-table ornament—with the bonus of lots of informative, readable text. If you’ve never heard of the vault, Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault can be your introduction to an extraordinary, farsighted venture. . . . Besides the science involved in selecting and preserving seeds, [Fowler] gives a fascinating account of the creation of the vault itself. . . . The book is illustrated with hundreds of photographs of the vault and the stunning Arctic environment in which it’s located.” —Washington Post

“Seeds on Ice is a marvel of great story with beautiful pictures illustrating the wilderness of the Norwegian mountain hosting the frozen seeds. But, above all, Seeds on Ice is a monument to [Cary Fowler’s] passionate love for traditional farming and seeds. . . . [He is] telling a passionate story that seeds are life, warning us to wake up and defend unmodified seeds and traditional farming, which are the bedrock of life and civilization.” —Huffington Post

”Fowler’s seed collection may have a reputation as a ‘doomsday vault,’ designed to save us from apocalyptic natural disaster and nuclear war, but his book is far from a harbinger of doom and gloom. Rather, it serves as a thoughtful treatise on our debt to the world or plants, and our responsibility for their stewardship. It also offers a straightforward recounting of Fowler’s vision-turned-reality and, with plenty of stunning photography depicting frigid Svalbard and its surrounding polar bears and glacial shelves, makes for a beautiful addition to any coffee table.” —Sierra Magazine

”Fowler, a key player in the banklike facility’s creation, uses stunning images of the site and its surrounding landscape as a springboard into bigger-picture issues. . . . [A] fascinating look at a place few of us would otherwise visit.”—Discover