Fostering readership and appreciation of contemporary literature.
Mission Statement: BOA Editions, Ltd., a not-for-profit publisher of poetry and other literary works, fosters readership and appreciation of contemporary literature. By identifying, cultivating, and publishing both new and established poets and selecting authors of unique literary talent, BOA brings high quality literature to the public. Support for this effort comes from the sale of its publications, grant funding, and private donations.
History: Founded in 1976 by the late poet, editor and translator, A. Poulin, Jr., BOA has published more than 200 books of American poetry and poetry in translation. The first publication bearing the BOA imprint was The Fuhrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress by W. D. Snodgrass. The Fuhrer Bunker received tremendous critical attention and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, optioned for the stage by Joseph Papp, and produced by Wynn Handman for The American Place Theater.
In 1984, BOA published Carolyn Kizer's book Yin, a collection of poems that had been turned down by nearly every major publishing house. Yin won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1985. A year later, BOA published Rose, by Li-Young Lee, who at that time was an unknown poet. He went on to publish three more books with BOA and his poetry is taught in many university courses.
Lucille Clifton is another prominent poet who has been on BOA's roster for many years. In 2007, Ms. Clifton was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize by the Poetry Foundation. In 2000, she won the National Book Award for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000. In addition to being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, her book Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 was selected as required reading for Stanford University freshmen in 2007.
BOA Editions began publishing fiction through its American Reader Series in 2007, and plans to reserve one or two of its 10-12 publishing slots per year for fiction. BOA also reprints numerous titles each year to meet reader demand.
BOA Editions, Ltd. is the recipient of a 2001 New York State Governor's Arts Award for overall artistic excellence, the only New York State not-for-profit literary publisher to receive such an honor.
Funding: BOA's annual budget exceeds $300,000. Revenue from book sales and copyright permissions make up about 40% of the budget; grants, donations, and fundraising events are the source of the balance. As a 501(c)(3) organization, BOA receives regular assistance from the New York State Council on the Arts Literature Program; the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Program; the Lannan Foundation; the Sonia Raiziss Giop Charitable Foundation; the Mary S. Mulligan Charitable Trust; the County of Monroe, NY; the Rochester Area Community Foundation; the Ames-Amzalak Memorial Trust in memory of Henry Ames, Semon Amzalak and Dan Amzalak; the Steeple-Jack Fund, and individuals nationwide.
Community Outreach: BOA annually donates hundreds of books to institutions that lack the funding to purchase poetry books for the adults and youths they serve. These organizations include senior centers, hospitals, libraries, schools, Native American reservations, and YMCAs. BOA also collaborates with museums, schools, bookstores, libraries, and other arts organizations to schedule BOA authors for readings.
BOA prepares Classroom Guides for teachers to introduce their students to contemporary American poets and poetry. The Guides engage students in the appreciation of poetry from perspectives relevant to the students' ages, interests, and backgrounds.
In collaboration with other non-profit organizations, BOA often donates books for silent auctions or other fundraising programs.
Awards & Distinctions: Since its inception, BOA has published poets from diverse cultural and aesthetic backgrounds. Many of these writers have been recognized for their achievements. Below is a partial list of awards:
- The 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Carolyn Kizer, Yin
- 2009 Lois Roth Award for a Translation of a Literary Work. Adonis, Mihyar of Damascus, His Songs
- 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Lucille Clifton
- Kate Tufts Discovery Award. 2008, Janice N. Harrington, Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone
- 2007 Maine Literary Award Winner for Poetry. Richard Foerster, The Burning of Troy
- Northern California Award for Poetry in Translation 2007. Ko Un, Flowers of A Moment
- The National Book Award for Poetry. Lucille Clifton, Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988 - 2000
- The Lenore Marshall / The Nation Prize. John Logan, The Bridge of Change
- Lamont Poetry Selection from the Academy of American Poets. Li-Young Lee, The City in Which I Love You
- Lamont Poetry Selection from the Academy of American Poets. Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Song
- Great Lakes Writers Association New Writers Award. William B. Patrick, Roxa
- Great Lakes Writers Association New Writers Award. Kim Addonizio, The Philosopher's Club
- The Minnesota Book Award for Poetry. Barton Sutter The Book of Names: New and Selected Poems
- The Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Mark Irwin, White City
- The Small Press Book Award for Poetry from Small Press Magazine. William Heyen, Crazy Horse in Stillness
- The Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award. Li-Young Lee, Rose
- The William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, Li-Young Lee, Book of My Nights
- The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from The Academy of American Poets. W. D. Snodgrass, Selected Translations
- Louis Simpson's The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001 was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry and a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize
- Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Dorianne Laux, What We Carry
- Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. Kim Addonizio, Tell Me
- Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. Lucille Clifton, The Terrible Stories. Ms. Clifton is also the only poet ever to have two poetry collections cited as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in a single year: Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969 - 1980 and Next: New Poems
- Brigit Pegeen Kelly's The Orchard was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Award
- Colorado Book Award in Poetry, Mark Irwin, Bright Hunger