In 1969, David Young, along with four Oberlin colleagues, helped found FIELD, a twice-yearly journal devoted to contemporary poetry and poetics. Long recognized for its excellence and integrity, FIELD now regularly features a symposium on the work of a single poet in each fall issue, and review-essays on the previous year’s poetry by the editors and occasional guest reviewers. David Young is still active as an editor of FIELD, which has recently expanded its editorial board to include two new Oberlin faculty members who write poetry, in keeping with its original vision.
In 1978, the editors of FIELD decided to start a book series of poetry in translation, responding to two problems in the publishing industry: a reluctance to publish translated poetry and a lack of commitment to keeping titles in print. From this beginning, the FIELD Translation Series has produced a steady output of skilled poets in important translations, winning numerous prizes and wide acclaim. Keeping the titles in print has been difficult at times, but it has proved the original intuition of the founders: that translations might not sell spectacularly, but they will sell steadily, proving to have a shelf life that exceeds much else that is published these days.
From its original translation series, the Oberlin College Press has expanded to include a list of contemporary American poets, some of them identified through an annual manuscript contest, as well as some highly useful and sensibly priced anthologies.
David Young continues to volunteer his time and his editorial skills to keep Oberlin College Press an ongoing success story. He has also helped produce several anthologies, three of which, Models of the Universe, Magical Realist Fiction, and A FIELD Guide to Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, help support the Press through their sales.