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At a Glance
This collection is arranged into 5 series.
The collection primarily consists of correspondence and publicity conducted by the Saturday Press: correspondence between the publisher Charlotte Mandel and the authors; correspondence relating to the Eileen W. Barnes Award, including contestant biographies; records of events that publicized the press, such as talks at universities and poetry readings; and clippings of articles citing the press, as well as reader responses to these articles. Finally, the collection contains the entire press run, 13 titles and an audio cassette, as well as photographs and negatives of these books.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Saturday Press records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
No additions expected
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Sarah Ponichtera, Columbia GSAS 2010.
Finding aid written by Sarah Ponichtera in February 2008.
Collection is processed to folder level.
2008-11-07 File created.
2009-01-13 xml document instance created by Patrick Lawlor
2009-06-04 xml document instance created by Catherine N. Carson
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The Saturday Press, a small press named after a poetry group out of which the press sprang, was founded in 1975 by Charlotte Mandel. Charlotte Mandel began by publishing her first book, an experience which made her realize simultaneously the importance of publishing to a new poet, and that publishing was a task within her grasp. Although technically founded in 1975, the press did not begin formal operations until 1981, when a bequest from Eileen W. Barnes provided funding. Mandel used the bequest to establish the Saturday Press, and simultaneously, the Eileen W. Barnes Award, an award granted to a first-time female poet over 40. The bequest also funded the publication of the Press' first three books; after that ran out, the Press reorganized as a non-profit corporation, and relied upon grants, which supported the organization for the remainder of its existence.
The Saturday Press was located in Montclair, New Jersey, near Mandel's home, where she lived with her husband, Irwin Mandel, the director of Clinical Research at the Columbia University Dental School.
The Eileen W. Barnes award (later known simply as the Barnes Award) was announced in 1981, 1984, and 1990, with the announcement and publication of winners taking place over the following few years in each case. The Award was inspired by Charlotte Mandel's realization that there was a lack of support for older first-time poets, especially women, and she planned the prize as an attempt to garner recognition and prestige for such poets The Barnes Award led to as much recognition of the Press as did its publication of more established poets.
The first Barnes Award competition requested contestants to submit a biography along with their poetry submission, and the judges of the first competition clearly found these biographies almost as compelling as the poetry itself. Charlotte Mandel cited them extensively in a talk she presented at Rutgers in 1984, and Rachel Hadas, another Barnes Award judge, wrote an article on the subject of the biographies. The first Barnes Award carried a cash prize of $100 for the winning poet; later awards had no cash prize.
The Saturday Press first published the winner of the first Barnes Award, Ghita Orth, in 1982. In 1983, it also published the runner-up, Annaliese Wagner's book, Hand Work, as well as an anthology of 53 of the contestants, titled "Saturday's Women". The Press went on to publish poets such as Jean Hollander, Janice Thaddeus, Anne Nicodemus, Geraldine C. Little, and Colette Inez. In total, the Saturday Press published 13 books and an audio tape of Charlotte Mandel reading her poem-novella"The Life of Mary." A small press, books were distributed only to local bookstores and authors were largely responsible for their own publicity. Many of the authors, in explaining their choice to publish with the Saturday Press, cited Charlotte Mandel's personal involvement in the editing process, and deep investment in the quality of the final product. The press ceased operations in 1995.