Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Is anything in this article factually incorrect? Please submit a comment.

Printer-friendly page

Jargon Society

by Jeffery Beam, 2006

Jargon Society Publications being sold in Germany.The Jargon Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious small presses in the country, was founded in 1951 at Black Mountain College by Jonathan Williams, an Asheville native and student at the school. Inspired by Charles Olson, a fellow student at the Chicago Institute of Design and a Black Mountain teacher and poet, Williams began by publishing works of fellow students and teachers. In Williams's words, "Jargon placed itself at the forefront of the avant garde while celebrating and preserving the best of the traditional." It sought out the overlooked and neglected and is credited with saving from obscurity the women modernist poets Lorine Niedecker and Mina Loy; many poets' first, and oftentimes major, works were Jargon titles. The press also championed visionary folk art by publishing books about these artists while working to preserve the fragile art produced by them. Jargon has been noted for the craft of its book making and the talented poets, photographers, designers, and artists who have collaborated on the books.

Additional Resources:

Jargon Society official website:

Hevesi, Dennis. "Jonathan Williams, Publisher, Dies at 79" The New York Times. March 30, 2008.

Image Credits:

Williams, Jonathan, "Jargon Publications being sold in Germany",1227

Origin - location: 

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia provides the comments feature as a way for viewers to engage with the resources. Comments are not published until reviewed by NCpedia editors at the State Library of NC, and the editors reserve the right to not publish any comment submitted that is considered inappropriate for this resource. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at