Reading and Not-Printing: Obstruction at the Crater Press

  • Richard Parker Independent Scholar


I will begin this paper with a brief and partial history of American printing, detecting a shared predilection for a noticeably maverick relation to the printed page in the works (printed and otherwise) of Samuel Keimer and Benjamin Franklin during the colonial period, and the works of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain in the nineteenth-century. I term the interrupted, dialectical printing that connects all of these writer/printers ‘not-printing’, and offer some explanation of his term and a description of some of its manifestations. I will then move on to consider how the idea of ‘not-printing’ might be helpful for the consideration of some contemporary British and American poets and printers before concluding with a description of some of the ways that the productive constraints of such a practice have influenced my own work as editor and printer at the Crater Press.



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Author Biography

Richard Parker, Independent Scholar
Richard Parker was born in 1978 and received his doctorate (in American Literature) from the University of Sussex in 2010.  From 2012 until 2014 he worked as an Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of Gaziantep in Turkey. He is now resident in London, editing and printing his poetry pamphlet series at The Crater Press.


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How to Cite
PARKER, Richard. Reading and Not-Printing: Obstruction at the Crater Press. MATLIT: Materialities of Literature, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 31-53, nov. 2014. ISSN 2182-8830. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 aug. 2019. doi:
Secção Temática | Thematic Section


Printing; American Literature; Contemporary British Poetry; Letterpress; Benjamin Franklin; Walt Whitman; Emily Dickinson