Cyber Monday and beyond: Promoting Anais Nin

Anais Nin with Gunther Stuhlmann, 1959 book-signing

There were few self-promoters as tireless as Anais Nin. When she wasn’t doing interviews, lectures, readings, and book signings, she was plotting new ways to get her work in the hands of readers.

In Paris during the 1930s, she partnered with two emerging modernist writers, Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell, and together the “3 Musketeers,” as they called themselves, published 3 books in the “Villa Seurat Series,” named after the street where Miller’s apartment served as their headquarters.

In New York, when no one would publish her work, Nin bought a manually powered printing press and published her own work as beautifully crafted books. She joined forces with Frances Steloff, whose Gotham Book Mart was central to the Village counterculture literary scene.

During the 1940s, Nin began what would become a powerful vehicle for selling her books: lecture tours and readings. Slowly, she began to amass a small but passionate following despite the literary establishment’s failure to pay her any attention or respect.

At the end of the 1950s, Nin began a professional relationship with German expatriate literary agent Gunther Stuhlmann, whose never-say-die attitude and methodical approach finally began to break through to a larger public–first, publisher Alan Swallow undertook all of her fiction, and then, after Henry Miller had become famous in the USA after the obscenity trials allowed him to publish his banned books, Miller’s letters to her were published in 1964, bringing her the attention of a wider public. This set the stage for the release of her first Diary of Anais Nin in 1966. The rest is history. Nin then expanded her lectures, readings, and interviews, using auditoriums, films, recordings, radio and TV stations to express her message to a now adoring audience. She continued this until illness finally brought it to an end in the mid-70s.

Anais Nin and her press, 1940s

After her death, it was left to others to promote her work, and admittedly there has been and never will be such an effective advocate as she. However, we continue her work as best we can. We have just celebrated Cyber Monday, and I know in my heart that Anais would have embraced this concept and would have taken advantage of it somehow. With that in mind, we are offering her work here at Sky Blue Press for attractive prices, and if you want to get Anais into your hands, this is a good opportunity. It is also a great chance to get her into the hands of your friends, loved ones, and colleagues, the uninitiated. There is little doubt that Anais Nin’s writing has been a positive influence on those who are fortunate enough to have found her, and we strive to widen the circle.

We are offering The Portable Anais Nin, the new print version, which contains the best of Anais’s writing, chronologically arranged; Anais’s only banned book, the original 1939 version of The Winter of Artifice; all issues of A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal, and more.

Visit for details.


ANAIS NIN’S students read their work and discuss her impact on their lives

681 Venice Bl., Venice, CA 90291
December 16, Friday 7:30 PM

NANCY SHIFFRIN is a poet, critic, and teacher. She earned her MA studying with ANAIS NIN. She earned her PhD at The Union Institute studying Jewish-American Literature. Her work has won awards and honorable mentions from The Academy of American Poets, The Alice Jackson Foundation, The Poetry Society of America, The Pushcart Prize, and The Dora Teitelbaum Foundation. Her work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Canadian Jewish Outlook, Religion and Literature, Humanistic Judaism, New York Quarterly, Earth’s Daughters, and numerous other periodicals. Her books are what she could not name (poems), MY JEWISH NAME (essays), and her most recent poetry collections: THE VAST UNKNOWING and GAME WITH VARIATIONS Through Creative Writing Services, her literary arts consultancy, she helps aspiring writers achieve publication and personal satisfaction. She teaches English at Los Angeles Valley College. Website:

With the encouragement of ANAIS NIN, LEAH SCHWEITZER has conducted classes and workshops in journal writing and creative writing since 1976. She is the co-editor of the poetry anthology Without a Single Answer [Judah Magnes Museum Press, 1990], and has participated in readings and programs for such venues as Beyond Baroque, Elderhostel, L.A. Poetry Festival, Valley Contemporary Poets, Black Oak Books, Skidmore and Goucher Colleges, the Sculpture Gardens, Venice Jail, and at many local arts conferences. Her work appears in such publications as Bitterroot, Apalachee Quarterly, CQ, Small Press Review, Shirim, The Otto Rank Journal, Confrontation, Crosscurrents, The Skirball Cultural Center Magazine, Ariel, Heshbon, The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, The New L.A. Poets, and The Sculpture Gardens Review. She considers her time as a student of ANAIS NIN to be among the defining moments in her writing and teaching life.

NAN HUNT has taught for over thirty years: poetry, writing workshops, and college English. She innovated Jungian-based writing workshops for the UCLA Extension Writing Program: “Trusting the Spontaneous Voice” and “Tygers & Medusas, Writing the Transformation of Anger”. Due to the success of these classes, she was invited to lecture and/or teach one-day to two-week workshops in more than thirty-five U.S. and European cities. She was presenter and panelist for Associated Writing Programs in Albany and Portland. Her poetry has appeared in over one hundred publications, including Poets On, Slant, Beloit, Poetry Journal, Southern California Anthology, New Millennium Writing, Kyoto Review, Poet India, (M)other Tongues, The Oregonian, Shelia-Na-Gig, and as finalist in Nimrod and Comstock Review. She has received poetry fellowships from Harcourt Brace, Centrum, Suffield College, and Hambidge Center for the Arts. The Wrong Bride is her recent collection of poems.