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For subscribers: Odd Volumes from The Fortnightly Review.

An Announcement.

odd_volumes_rnd150tmIN 2013, with the publication of Stephen Wiest’s Screeds, The Fortnightly Review began offering subscribers a collection of titles reflecting the diverse interests of the editors. We call our imprint Odd Volumes, a salute to The Sette of Odd Volumes, a celebrated and long-lived association of bibliophiles founded in London in 1878 by Bernard Quaritch and others. (Our colophon is in fact borrowed from some of the Sette’s early printed pieces.)

Free to Subscribers.

Instructions for subscribers only: You may select one title each year on entering a new subscription or on renewal. Instead of ordering through the sources linked here, simply contact us with the email address you used to enter your subscription and let us know which book you’d like sent. You’ll receive the book and, only if applicable,  a PayPal invoice for the discounted price.

You may enter a new subscription by visiting the subscription page here.

Most books are perfect-bound quality paperback editions. Truinas is the hardcover exception.

Non-subscribers: In addition to volumes sent to subscribers on the above terms,  the following titles are available for sale to the general public (click a title to be sent to the appropriate Amazon page):

The First Set of Twelve.

1. Screeds of Stephen Wiest. (July 2013) Price: $10.95 | £7.90

Stephen Wiest, born the day after Pearl Harbor, has worked as a janitor, bartender, Fuller Brush salesman, printer, and gardener for people who like flowers but not dirt. In the late ‘sixties, he was poet-in-residence at The Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars, under Elliott Coleman. He lives in Rock Hall, Maryland, an old waterman’s town on the Chesapeake Bay. Although he has written five books of poetry and four novels, this final version of Screeds is his first publication in twenty-six years.

2. Dostoyevski and the Religion of Suffering by E-M de Vogüé. (November 2013) Price: $9.95 | £6.95

The first French edition of Le roman russe, of which this essay is an extended chapter, appeared in 1886 and was perhaps one of the most influential books of literary comment in the nineteenth century, bringing Russian fiction to the attention of French, then English, readers, to whom it was new and interesting. As historian Owen Chadwick later wrote, “Le roman russe was so critical, and yet so constructive, so personal and yet so objective, so penetrating without being astringent, so prosaic and yet so haunting, that even after so many decades you cannot read it without wanting to go back to read the Russian novelists for themselves. If we say that Vogüé ‘popularized’ Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, that would be true. But the description is very inadequate both to explain what the book achieved and the way it achieved that effect.”

3. The Invention of the Modern World by Alan Macfarlane. (April 2014) Price: $16.95 | £9.45

From the preface: ‘This is a book which synthesizes a lifetime of reflection on the origins of the modern world. Through forty years of travel in Europe, Australia, India, Nepal, Japan and China I have observed the similarities and differences of cultures. I have read as widely as possible in both contemporary and classical works in history, anthropology and philosophy.’ Prof Macfarlane is a Professor Emeritus of King’s College Cambridge, a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society and the co-editor of The Fortnightly Review. He is the author of The Culture of Capitalism, The Savage Wars of Peace, The Riddle of the Modern World and The Making of the Modern World, among many others.

4. Labyrinths & Clues by Alan Wall. (May 2014) Price: $22.00 | £10.75

This book contains the following pieces, all published first in The Fortnightly Review: Essayism and Modernity | William Blake. | Therianthropes and vents. | Constellations. | Pattern recognition and the periodic table. | Extremities of perception in an age of lenses. | Demotic ritual. | Science and disenchantment. | The self-subversion of the book. | Newton’s prisms. | The Janus face of Metaphor. | Clues and labyrinths. | Ruin, the collector and sad mortality. Alan Wall was born in Bradford, lives in North Wales, teaches at the University of Chester, and studied English at Oxford. He has published six novels and three collections of poetry in addition to this collection of essays and a subsequent collection of essays on Walter Benjamin, also published by Odd Volumes and listed below.

5. Helen by Oswald Sickert. (September 2014) Price: $12.95 | £8.00

Oswald Sickert’s delicate examination of two middle-class, late-Victorian characters – an ambitious writer and his wife, a freshly liberated woman — and their rather modern relationship. It has been more than a century since this book first appeared (in 1894, in Unwin’s ‘Pseudonym Library’ — where Sickert’s pseudonym was simply ‘Oswald Valentine’) but the anxieties of modern lives lived in a period of transition will be quite familiar to most twenty-first century readers. Oswald Valentine Sickert was the younger brother of Walter Sickert, the famous painter and student of Whistler. The Sickerts were a very well-connected family. Their home was the social hub of an influential circle of artists and critics, and Cambridge-educated Oswald was the family favorite. Among his friends were Edward Marsh and Bertrand Russell.

telegrams_cover6. Telegrams from the City under Siege by Marco Genovesi, in English and Italian; translated by Hoyt Rogers. (August 2015) Price: $15.00 | £9.95

‘In Genovesi’s poems and stories, their focused imagery and clipped phraseology run counter to the exuberant Anglo-American strain…A wholly original voice.’—Hoyt Rogers

A note from the translator: ‘Marco Genovesi, like many young writers in Italy, has sought inspiration in outside sources. While he draws on a wide variety of English-language authors, from Bukowski to Woolf, he has also turned to Japanese literature, especially the haiku poets and the novelists Kawabata and Murakami. In Genovesi’s poems and stories, their focused imagery and clipped phraseology run counter to the exuberant Anglo-American strain. By adroitly combining these disparate elements, he achieves a wholly original voice. ‘ — Hoyt Rogers

“Genovesi makes use of diverse perspectives: spaces that are wide-open or infinitely small, present or post-apocalyptic, distorted by alcohol or clear as day. His harmonization of narrative rhythm with an acute sense of place quickly wins the reader’s empathy.” —Michele Casagrande

FRcover-tlt-1607. The Fortnightly Reviews: Poetry Notes 2012-2014 by Peter Riley (October 2015) Price: $17.50 | £12.95

For more than 50 years, Peter Riley’s creative and critical voice has given shape and substance to modern English-language poetry as a prize-winning poet and editor and writer of imaginative prose. For the last few years, he has served as poetry editor of The Fortnightly Review, whence come these critical notices. Denise Riley, John Burnside, Peter Hughes, Alistair Noon, Andrew Jordan, Sandeep Parmar, Kelvin Corcoran, Anthony Barnett, Barry Tebb, Ed Dorn, Barbara Guest, Joseph Ceravolo, James Schuyler, Simon Smith, Carherine Hales, John Welch, Anthony Mellors, Andrew McMillan and Robert Duncan are among the more than two dozen poets surveyed here.

8. Science and Religion by Ferdinand Brunetière; translated by Erik Butler (April 2016) Price: $15.00 | £10.00.

This is the first English-language translation of Brunetiere’s Science and Religion, which was originally published in 1895, and was one of the most controversial books of its time. Written by a leading French secularist (at the time, the editor of the influential Revue des Deux Mondes), Brunetiere’s public reconsideration of traditional Catholicism elevated the controversy surrounding science and faith by infusing the emotional debate with intellectual rigor. This debate rages on today, often with scientist-celebrities on one side and thoughtful theologians on the other. This book has as much relevance now as it did when it first appeared more than a century ago. Note: All orders placed by subscribers will also include a complimentary copy of Brunetière and the ‘monster banquet’ by Elton Hocking in an e-book format unique to Odd Volumes.

9. Rejected! Literary Failure and My Contribution to It by Stephen Wade (July 2017) Price: $19.95 | £15.00

A good writer is a good reader. But of all the things a writer reads, nothing is more moving, more soul-wrenching than a slip of paper (or an email) reading “Rejected!” It’s a life-changing thing. Stephen Wade’s life has thus been changed many times. If you’re a writer you know what the experience is like. Out of a spirit of melancholy collegiality, Stephen Wade offers some hard-won advice — if not also consolation — for writers facing the opposite of acceptance: Rejection.

10. Verisimilitudes by James Gallant. “Essays and Approximations” by the Fortnightly columnist (May 2018) Price: $15.00 £10.00

Literary and speculative essays on the paranormal and other imaginative topics — ranging from Madame Blavatsky to make-believe musicians — by Fortnightly Review columnist and novelist James Gallant. “James Gallant writes about some of the most intellectually challenging and inherently fascinating subjects imaginable: the UFO phenomenon, occult materializations and the like. His suggestion that invasions of occult influences become especially likely in disorderly societies like our own—in the gaps, in the interstices of what we think of as the real but which is in fact a social construction, and a wobbly one at that—is compelling.” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion, Rice University, author of Secret Body : Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religion

11. Truinas: 21 April 2001, by Philippe Jaccottet, translated by John Taylor. June 2018. Price (hardcover edition only): $25.00  £18.00

Philippe Jaccottet is the prize-winning, Swiss-born French poet who, in 2014, became only the third poet (after René Char and St. John Perse) to enter Gallimard’s Pléiade list while still living and working. “Truinas, April 21, 2001” is Jaccottet’s meditation on his long friendship with another essential French poet, André du Bouchet (1924-2001), provoked by Du Bouchet’s funeral — ‘an event that evokes memories of their first meeting a half-century earlier, their literary affinities (notably their common literary admiration for the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin), the particularly vivid perceptions of the natural surroundings of Du Bouchet’s house in the south of France, and, not least, the doubts–scruples–about the very possibility of writing truly and honestly about death.’ — John Taylor. This is a cloth-covered, limited edition. First English translation.

12. Walter Benjamin: An Arcade of Reflections by Alan Wall. June 2018. Price: $12.95 £ 9.50

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a German philosopher, essayist and critic whose work has grown in relevance and importance in the 75 years since his death by suicide on the French-Spanish border as Nazi invaders drew near. In his possession: a mysterious suitcase, now lost. The University of Chester’s Alan Wall examines many of the recent contexts for discussions of Benjamin and offers detailed explanations for the overdue resurgence of interest in this important writer.

The First Set of Twelve

…may be purchased as a lot at a 20 percent discount (25 percent for subscribers). Shipping additional. Inquire on info (at)

The Next Twelve.

1. Consciousness (with Mutilation) by Anthony Howell. (180 pp, paper, January 2019.) $18.00 £15.00.

When British poet Anthony Howell suffers a mid-day epileptic seizure on a train, he awakens to a reconsideration that ultimately leads to a unique novel-memoir, one that blends an added Palestinian narrative (‘Mutilation’) with a complex internal examination. By journey’s end, a recapitulation of historical events and current politics reveals a new and unexpected consciousness…

‘Rimbaud’s “I is another” is the crucial statement by the bad boy genius, whose life prefigured the counter-culture and whose works have influenced many later writers, including Anthony Howell, elite bohemian, brilliant poet and performance artist. Howell’s new prose book, with a title that would have enthralled Rimbaud, incarnates otherness from within an ultra-inventive mind that creates, coolly and passionately at the same time, a coalition of the alienated or, more mildly, differentiated selves which make up this post-modern personality with its urban Jewish and rural Quaker roots. It took an epileptic fit to trigger Howell’s remarkable exploration of psychic chaos which is contained, not so paradoxically, in a super-formalistic structure, a systems network involving repetition as in a baroque poem, that would be a credit to French formalists such as Jacques Roubaud, Raymond Queneau and Alain Robbe-Grillet. Among many themes there is a harsh critique of Israel, but written as much in sorrow as in anger from within the goodly tent. The author intersperses his own text with his fluent version of a novella by Mamdouh Adwan, the tragic story of an old Palestinian who has been dispossessed of all he owns. This counterpoint complicates further the music of Howell’s earthly spheres, but such are his skills that we read the book as a straightforward story, a story whose unrevealed codes work on us subliminally so that we are transported, as if listening to Bach.’ —Anthony Rudolf

2.A Notebook of Clouds by Pierre Chappuis (translated from the French by John Taylor) A Notebook of Ridges by John Taylor. (160 pp, paper, May 2019.) $16.95 £12.95 15.77.

“A reading experience like no other…Pierre Chappuis’s ‘A Notebook of Clouds’ (in John Taylor’s nuanced translation) is by turns lyrical, playful, and philosophical. Magically, in a series of short prose pieces and poems, Chappuis evokes a bygone world of childhood when we could sit and stare and discover an entire universe in a passing cloud. At the same time, we are given fascinating glimpses into the hidden nature of the creative act.

“Taking his inspiration from Chappuis, John Taylor does not disappoint when he follows with his own ‘A Notebook of Ridges’. Its observations form the basis for a search into childhood memories of the flatlands of Iowa and for a subtle investigation into how the past haunts the life he leads now in Western France. Finally, in a sequence called ‘The Word and the Stream’, Taylor moves from the immanent to the transcendent in a series of compelling and poetically-charged fragments. 

“Throughout this volume, there is the most wonderful sense of a genuine pilgrimage for our times.”

—Ian Seed
University of Chester
Author: New York Hotel

3. Credo: Exhibits and Other Poems, by Stephen Wiest (105 pp, paper) $16.95 £13.38 15.84

The inventory of a poet’s life, ‘drafted in a language of rare elegance, sensitivity, and precision,’ writes John Taylor. The author of Screeds meditates in this new collection on aging, self-acceptance — and acceptance in a more comprehensive sense that bears on us all. Credo is a work of reminiscence and appraisal, a mirror held up to one man’s life at an angle that reveals something about every life.

Four poems from Credo are here.

A former poet-in-residence at The Johns Hopkins University, this is Stephen Wiest’s second collection published by Odd Volumes for subscribers to The Fortnightly Review.


Sent gratis to subscribers only on request.

Brunetière and the ‘monster banquet’ by Elton Hocking. (June 2016). In .pdf format.

Montes the Matador by Frank Harris. In preparation.

Additional titles will be announced on this page.

* PLEASE NOTE: The subscriber offer is available to new and renewing subscribers only. Limit: one title/subscriber/subscription year. Subscribers: to receive your book, order directly from us, not from Amazon. Simply send us an email.  Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

For details, contact us on info (at)


April 26, 2020

From Harvey Shoolman

I, and many others I know, very much enjoy the essays of Alan Wall and I’ve eagerly devoured the 2 volumes you’ve published so far.

However, I note there’s many essays by Wall on your website that have not been collected in the 2 essay volumes published to date.

Could we PLEASE have a third published essay collection by Alan Wall?


Harvey Shoolman