A new series of world literature


About the series

Since the advent of language we have understood our world, and passed that understanding from one generation to the next, through story and song. From the Aboriginal stories of the Dreamtime to the Original Instructions of the Ojibwe, and from the Mayan Popol Vuh to medieval bestiaries, the imaginative expression of human experience offers essential tools for reflection on our relationship to the world around us.

Today, however, the stories that have guided human interaction with ecosystems for millennia are steadily disappearing, as cultural and linguistic diversity disappears at a pace matching the loss of biological diversity. In response to this trajectory, and with the understanding that literature has been a source of cultural transformation throughout modern history, Milkweed Editions launched the Seedbank series of books.

This series of world literature expands Milkweed’s publishing program to bring ancient, historical, and contemporary works from cultures from around the world to American readers. Just as repositories around the world gather seeds to ensure biodiversity in the future, Seedbank gathers works of literature from around the world that foster conversation and reflection on the human relationship to place and the natural world—exposing readers to new, endangered, and forgotten ways of seeing the world.

Praise for the series

“Milkweed’s Seedbank series is one of the most exciting and visionary projects in contemporary publishing. Taking the long view, these volumes run parallel to the much-hyped books of the moment to demonstrate the possibility and hope inherent in all great literature.” STEPHEN SPARKS, POINT REYES BOOKS

“Through its cultural-linguistic contribution to narrative diversity, Milkweed’s Seedbank series is a vital tool in imagining the futures possible for humanity beyond the anthropocene. Bringing works from Greek, K’iche’, German, Russian (and more!) whose authors are deeply rooted in their homelands, each voice encountered has resonated with me on a seemingly cellular level—shifting and changing both who I am and can be. I will continue to press these books into the hands of compassionate readers and cannot wait to share the forthcoming titles in the project!”ERIN PINEDA, 27TH LETTER BOOKS

“Milkweed as a publishing house has long been championing literary works both fictitious and true to life centered around culture, nature, and environmentalism. The Seedbank series serves as both a marvelous introduction to the books Milkweed provides and as a collection of essential stories that ought to be on everyone’s radar. The words behind these front covers highlight life-changing experiences, knowledge, and ways of life from communities that are seldom otherwise heard from in the publishing world through an authentic cultural lens. What I’ve read from the Seedbank line is phenomenal, and I look forward to spending time with future works in the series.”ANDREW KING, SECRET GARDEN BOOKS

“However many nations

live in the world today,

however many countless people,

they all had but one dawn.”

  —from The Popol Vuh

Walk Through Connemara with Tim Robinson

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Listen to Shamanic Singing by Galsan Tschinag

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