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Uselysses by Noel Black, the author behind Ugly Duckling’s new digital intitative.

Though Ugly Duckling Presse holds that “the technology of the physical book is essentially different” from digital copies, today they have taken a significant step in making their catalogue freely available for online download. The influential “micropress,” which publishes poetry, translations, lost works, and artist’s books and is notable for being firmly bound up in the history of bookmaking is pursuing this initiative at the behest of one of their authors, Noel Black.

Black, who posted the manifesto behind his new PDF press (called The New Heave Ho)  alongside exchanges with Ugly Duckling’s Anna Moschovakis on his blog, claims to be inspired in turn by Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture Movement, a wide-ranging project dedicated to freeing up creative content.

Moschovakis is the member of the press’s editorial collective responsible for their adoption of the digital proofs program and she told Hyperallergic that they “plan to post [the proofs] as quickly as we can over the next month or two. We put a request for permission out to all of our authors, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive — we are posting them in the order the authors got back to us.”

The five works made available for download today are listed below, though more will be posted over on the Digital Proofs Program page at Ugly Duckling.

Uselysses (Noel Black)
Notes on Conceptualisms (Vanessa Place and Robert Fitterman)
Walking Across a Field We Are Focused on at This Time Now (Sara Wintz)
Thank You for the Window Office (Maged Zaher)
Dreaming Escape (Valentina Saracini, translated by Erica Weitzman et al)

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.