Poet and novelist Chris Abani has found a new home for Black Goat, the poetry imprint he founded in 2004 and continues to direct. Originally launched under California-based Red Hen Press, Black Goat is now an imprint of Brooklyn indie publisher Akashic Books, the house that published Abani's novella Becoming Abigail and his forthcoming novella Song for Night. During its stint at Red Hen, Black Goat published two poetry collections, including a debut by novelist Percival Everett entitled re:f (gesture), before the house became unable to financially sustain the imprint.

Under Akashic, Black Goat will release three poetry collections beginning in September: Gomer's Song by prolific black poet Kwame Dawes; eel on reef by Nigerian writer Uche Nduka; and Auto Mechanic's Daughter, a debut by poet Karen Harryman. In 2008 Black Goat plans to release at least four titles and hopes to eventually to publish six books a year.

Abani described the imprint as a forum for underrepresented and experimental poetic voices with a focus on women and writers of color. While Abani has been published by mainstream houses like Penguin and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, as well as smaller independents like Copper Canyon Press, he said he was impressed with the intimate working relationships at a small house like Akashic and by its growing list of international writers.

Eventually he even hopes to bring in guest editors for the line. “Then the conversation becomes more nuanced and complicated,” he explained, “and not just Chris Abani's take on what poetry should be.”