We received a press release this morning from Gramma Press publishers Colleen Louise Barry and Aidan Fitzgerald announcing the end of the Seattle poetry press on the last day of this year. Gramma was funded by a grant from the Bill and Ruth True Foundation, which is dissolving.
Less interesting than the details behind the press's dissolution are the details about its future:
It is our intention that our titles will continue living out there in the wide world beyond Gramma. To this end, we are currently working hard to find a home for our books and authors at a press here in the Pacific Northwest. We are poets and artists ourselves, and it is of the utmost importance to us that the work by our authors persists in book stores and galleries around the country.
Gramma's editors will continue to support the work being done by poets, writers, artists, publishers, and DIY space-holders in every way we can, both as individual participants in these important dialogues and in our roles as Directors of.
Honestly, Gramma seemed like a lot of work to me: it involved the editing and publication of high-quality volumes of poetry, a monthly dispatch, and a weekly newsletter. That's a hell of a lot to manage! I'm glad to hear that Barry and Fitzgerald are focusing on their own presses, and I hope the Gramma library finds a new home locally. If you're looking to start a poetry press, you could do worse than pick up the publication of these books — including Sarah Galvin's Ugly Time, which is my favorite of Galvin's books to date — to give your press some immediate legitimacy. (I reviewed other Gramma titles right here.)
In the meantime, be sure to give Cold Cube Press and Mount Analogue some love this holiday season. Their books make beautiful gifts, and they're not the kind of thing you can just airdrop off of Amazon, which gives them an air of uniqueness — like a handwritten letter.