Founded in 2006 by Tarpaulin Sky Press authors Johannes Göransson and Joyelle McSweeney “Action Books has been filling a gap in American publishing by translating works that are considered avant-garde masterpieces in other parts of the world into English. They’ve introduced Americans to writers from Sweden, Japan, Korea, Argentina, Chile… and the list goes on. They also published Tao Lin in the US before you knew who he was and had some dumb opinion about him, alongside a variety of other singular, shape-defying voices including big guns like Aase Berg, Kim Hyesoon, Don Mee Choi, Raúl Zurita, Hiromi Ito, and countless others.” — Blake Butler, VICE Magazine
Black Ocean is an award-winning independent publisher based out of Boston, with satellites in Detroit and Chicago. From early silent films to early punk rock, Black Ocean brings together a spectrum of influences to produce books of exceptional quality and content. In conjunction with their book releases they manifest their aesthetic via celebrations around the country. Black Ocean believes in the fissures art can create in consciousness when, even if just for a moment, we experience a more vital way of operating in the world, and seek out more extreme and enlightened modes of existence.
Calamari Archive, ink. is a small-press book publishing company, founded by Derek White in 2003. It has published over 70 book objects, including the literary magazine Sleepingfish and the acquired 3rd bed imprint. Some of these have been first books by emerging writers such as Blake Butler, Miranda Mellis, Robert Lopez, Peter Markus and Chiara Barzini, while others have been resurrected reprints of out-of-print cult classics by established writers such as David Ohle, Gary Lutz, Stanley Crawford and Scott Bradfield.
Purveyor of poetry & other antagonisms, founded by Jasper Bernes, Joshua Clover, and Juliana Spahr, Commune Editions began with Bay Area friendships formed in struggle: the occupations in resistance to UC tuition hikes in 2009-11; the anti-police uprisings after the shooting of Oscar Grant that continued with the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner; and the local version of Occupy, referred to by some as the Oakland Commune. In these moments, the people committed to poetry and the people committed to militant political antagonism came to be more and more entangled, turned out to be the same people. This felt transformative to CE, strange and beautiful. A provisionally new strain of poetry has begun to emerge from this entanglement with communist and anarchist organizing, theorizing, and struggle. This work inspires CE. They hope to publish poetry for reading and writing explicitly against the given world, always aware that it begins inside that world—and to put this work in dialogue with poetries from other countries and from other historical moments, times and places where the politicization of poetry and the participation of poets in uprisings large and small was and remains a convention.
Founded by Tarpaulin Sky Press author Danielle Dutton, named one of five small presses “slyly changing the industry for the better” (Flavorwire), Dorothy, a publishing project is dedicated to works of fiction or near fiction or about fiction, mostly by women. Each fall, Dorothy publishes two new books simultaneously. They work to pair books that draw upon different aesthetic traditions, because a large part of their interest in literature lies in its possibilities, its endless stylistic and formal variety. Authors include Barbara Comyns, Renee Gladman, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Joanna Ruocco, and Nell Zink.
Essay Press was founded in 2006 by Eula Biss, Stephen Cope, and Catherine Taylor, and is dedicated to publishing artful, innovative and culturally relevant prose. They are interested in publishing pieces that are too long to be easily published in journals or magazines, but too short to be considered book-length by most publishers. They are looking for prose that has something to say, essays that both demand and deserve to stand alone. They particularly welcome work that extends or challenges the formal protocols of nonfiction, including, but not limited to: lyric essays and prose poems or poetics; experimental biography and autobiography; innovative approaches to journalism, experimental historiography, criticism, scholarship, and philosophy.
Founded in 1998 by Rebecca Wolff, Fence redefines the terms of accessibility by publishing challenging writing distinguished by idiosyncrasy and intelligence rather than by allegiance with camps, schools, or cliques. It is Fence‘s mission to encourage writing that doesn’t answer to either the mainstream or to recognizable modes of experimentation. Fence is long-term committed to publishing from the outside and the inside of established communities of writing, seeking always to interrogate, collaborate with, and bedevil other systems that bring new writing to light.
A small press for an enormous population, GenPop Books is an independent publisher and retailer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cross-genre work, and sundry curiosities. GenPop also publishes work in its online magazine. Sometimes. Authors include TS peeps Jan Clausen, Elena Georgiou, and Julianna Spallholz.
Founded in 2006 by Zachary Schomburg and Mathias Svalina, Octopus Books is a small poetry press in Portland, OR, committed to building a catalog of contemporary poetry by publishing four books each year. Authors include Cynthia Arrieu-King, Heather Christle, Dan Hoy, Ben Mirov, Simone John, Brandon Shimoda, and Matvei Yankelevich.
Plinth is more than a journal. Plinth collects & manifests an alternate canon. Forming poetry, philosophy & fable, the science-fictional & alchemical, from essence to possibility, Plinth undoes boundary or makes boundary womb for birth. Plinth murmurs untold stories, fragments, weird thought modes, preposterous expression. For Plinth, beauty is the liminal, the grotesque, the sublime, ritual & devotional practice. Plinth bridges stars. Plinth adores the strange, depraved, the horrible & the forgotten. Plinth marks a chasm. Plinth is a cogwheel with teeth grinding bullion back to lead. Plinth is a library. Attend Plinth as it incarnates in empty rooms, atop ziggurats decrepit or industrial, under gnarled branches, in spaces between throngs, &c.
The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. Politically aware, Civic-minded Satanists and allies in The Satanic Temple have publicly opposed The Westboro Baptist Church, advocated on behalf of children in public school to abolish corporal punishment, applied for equal representation where religious monuments are placed on public property, provided religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women’s reproductive autonomy, exposed fraudulent harmful pseudo-scientific practitioners and claims in mental health care, and applied to hold clubs along side other religious after school clubs in schools besieged by proselytizing organizations.
Founded by Jason Snyder, Sidebrow is an independent, nonprofit literary press dedicated to publishing innovative fiction, poetry, prose, and collaborative, experimental, and hybrid forms. Based in Portland and San Francisco, Sidebrow seeks work that finds form and urgency through the process of its writing. Their aesthetic is an ongoing evolution evidenced by the books they produce. Authors include TS authors and peeps Sandy Florian, Teresa K. Miller, Mathias Svalina, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, and Joanna Howard with Joanna Ruocco.
Small Press Distribution (SPD)
Founded in 1969 by Peter Howard and Jack Shoemaker, SPD is the nation’s only exclusively literary nonprofit book distributor, serving over 400 small and independent presses. SPD sells independent literature in every state in the country and to many locations in the world. In 2016-2017, books sales topped two million dollars. Of these sales, approximately 60% were poetry.
Trembling Pillow Press is a New Orleans based publishing outfit run by poet Megan Burns since 2006. Trembling Pillow Press endeavors to continue to publish first books from emerging authors as well as marginalized texts that have either gone out of print or that have had trouble finding a publishing house. 2017 will mark the 11th year of Trembling Pillow Press’ publishing efforts in New Orleans.
Online poetry magazine founded by Adam Clay and Matt Henriksen. We’d be silly to say more, because Adam and Matt put the focus on their contributors. Of which there are hundreds. Just go read it. You’ll understand.
Ugly Duckling Presse is a nonprofit publisher for poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, performance texts, and books by artists. UDP was transformed from a 1990s zine into a Brooklyn-based small press by a volunteer editorial collective that has published more than 200 titles to date. UDP favors emerging, international, and “forgotten” writers, and its books, chapbooks, artist’s books, broadsides, and periodicals often contain handmade elements, calling attention to the labor and history of bookmaking. UDP is committed to keeping its publications in circulation with their online archive of out-of-print chapbooks and our digital proofs program. In all of its activities, UDP endeavors to create an experience of art free of expectation, coercion, and utility.
“A reliable conversation-starter about gender disparity in the literary world” (New York Times), VIDA is a non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically-marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals. The “VIDA Count” highlights gender imbalances in publishing by tallying genre, book reviewers, books reviewed, and journalistic bylines to offer an accurate assessment of the publishing world. VIDA Reviewfeatures original interviews, articles, and essays from an intersectional feminist and womanist perspective on the literary world, publishing, education, and the arts. VIDA Events are conducted at festivals and conferences nationwide, including readings, panels, and forums on all aspects of the literary community, from academia to activism, publishing to career development.
MORE PEEPS FOR YOU TO CHECK OUT
Obviously, we can’t list every last press we love. But if you like writing reviews, we can send you their books. Check out our list of available review copies from friends Black Radish, BlazeVox, Bloof, Brooklyn Arts, Burning Deck, Caketrain, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Coffee House, Dancing Girl, Denver Quarterly, Dusie, Featherproof, FSG, Kore Press, Les Figues, Letter Machine, Llewellyn, New Michigan, Nightboat, Plays Inverse, Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, Ricochet, Solid Objects, Subito, Third Man Books, Tin House, University of Iowa …