KARL AUGUST KVITKO is the editor-in-chief, mailroom processor and janitor of Xenos Books. In 1985, convinced that the big publishers detested real literature, written, as Yevgeny Zamyatin declared, "not by efficient and trustworthy clerks, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, skeptics," he founded Xenos Books, taking for its name the Greek word that means both "stranger" and "guest." Everyone involved with the press matches at least one of Zamyatin's specifications.

Kvitko was born a long time ago, not too far from the Blue Ridge Mountains, to a woman of Ukrainian or Irish descent. His Germanic father, a zookeeper and protector of orangutans, disappeared on an extended expedition in very wet terrain. Kvitko, raised for a time in an orphanage, first took an interest in snakes, then in the more dangerous fields of languages and literatures. Eventually he studied Russian and specialized in espionage. Consequently, most of his serious works appear in specialized journals and reports under an official cryptonym.

Under his own name, Kvitko has written occasional book reviews, such as of Ernst Jünger's Aladdin's Problem and of Ronald Harwood's Taking Sides, both on Amazon.com. He also writes occasional introductions to Xenos Books publications, namely, to Scarecrow by Oliverio Girondo and to Hosanna by Louis Bourgeois. He wrote the appreciation "Alfredo de Palchi Says No" for the Gradiva publication, A Life Gambled in Poetry: Homage to Alfredo de Palchi (2011). He is the co-translator of The Tiger Is the World by the Croatian poet and novelist Tomislav Marijan Bilosnic (2012). Other writings, translations and literary tergiversations have appeared anonymously. Kvitko currently lives and works in a desert valley south of Albuquerque.


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