Barren The Fury



Poems by Brenda Leifso

What happens when the feminine — used, tortured, abused, neglected, extinguished —  finds its voice in anger? Brenda Leifso’s poems unflinchingly articulate the bare, post-elegiac music of negative epiphany, the place past benevolence and wishful thinking where “the heart is a chisel.” At once mythic threnody and anthem for doomed earth, Barren the Fury provides a lyric equivalent to such works of dire portent as James Lovelock’s Revenge of Gaia.Can there be any consolation amid such extinctions? If there is, Leifso’s uncompromising work suggests, it derives from the insightful voicing of atrocity and discernment of its mythic shape, and not in such polite delusions as “sustainable development.”   – Don McKay

113 Bond Street St. John’s NL A1C 1T6

Pedlar Press publishes innovative, contemporary Canadian fiction & poetry, the occasional literary nonfiction title, works that preserve and extend the literary tradition that values experimentation in style & form. Writers include Agnes Walsh, Phil Hall, Kim Fahner, Michael Kenyon, Guy Birchard, Sara Tilley, Maureen Hynes, Soraya Peerbaye, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Martha Baillie, Kate Cayley, Emily McGiffin, Jan Zwicky, Stan Dragland, Anne Golden, Anne Fleming, Ronna Bloom, Barry Dempster, Aga Maksimowska, Maureen Scott Harris. . .

TO PURCHASE PEDLAR TITLES: Pedlar Press titles may be ordered from your local independent bookseller, from (the all-Canadian online bookstore), from To purchase titles directly from Pedlar, contact publisher Beth Follett at:

RECENT TITLES may be purchased by scrolling down to posts below. These include Barbara Nichol’s picture book THE LADY FROM KENT, Stan Dragland’s artbook GERALD SQUIRES, Martha Baillie’s novel THE SEARCH FOR HEINRICH SCHLÖGEL, and poetry collections LAMB by Michael Kenyon, ONLY SEEMLY by Guy Birchard, ODERIN by Agnes Walsh, THESE WINGS by Kim Fahner, VANISHING ACTS by Moira MacDougall.

Click on the various Pages to see Pedlar’s full front and back lists.

SUBMISSIONS: JULY 2019 update – Pedlar’s Acquisitions editor Monica Kidd is not accepting submissions for fiction, poetry and nonfiction titles until JULY 2020, unless these are from authors previously published by Pedlar.

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Submissions Guide

Pedlar Press is a consistently award-winning Canadian literary publishing house based in St. John’s NL. Pedlar started in 1996 and was run single-handedly by Beth Follett until 2018, when Monica Kidd joined as co-publisher.  We typically publish seven books of literary fiction, nonfiction, translation or poetry per year, including at least two debuts. 

Our house vision is this: to acquire works of exceptional literary quality that break silences regarding widespread failures of social and political systems, and to make books with serious intellectual and emotional content.

No Pedlar book is published as accepted. Each undergoes editorial transformation—often in-house, but occasionally with guest editors—with an eye to making it meet the aesthetic requirements of the text itself. Our aim is to produce literary works of integrity that will make a pronounced difference in the lives of Pedlar’s readers.

Before you submit your manuscript, please familiarize yourself with our backlist; understanding what makes Pedlar distinctive and why your work fits our mandate will help your pitch.

Please note that while the majority of our authors and translators are Canadian (like most Canadian-owned publishers, we are supported by grants that rightly require an emphasis on Canadian authors), we do sometimes acquire international works for translation. Also: it can take two years between acceptance and publication.

To submit:

  1. Please begin by sending a query letter with a one-paragraph description of the work. Please compare your book to one or two Pedlar books, and include a literary CV. (Do not elaborate on your literary lineage and relationships; we prefer to let the work speak for itself.) Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please flag this in your letter, and tell us promptly if your work has been accepted elsewhere.
  2. If we are interested in your description, we will ask for a .pdf of either the complete manuscript (if short prose or poetry) or for the first 50 pages (for long prose).
  3. Please do not send hard copies unless invited to do so, as we try to minimize our environmental footprint.
  4. You may submit at any time during the year, but please be patient. We aim to respond to submissions within six months of receipt.

You can read Pedlar’s mandate here:


or here:

The publisher wishes to acknowledge financial support received from the Newfoundland and Labrador Publishers Assistance Program. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. //  Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

“Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”  ―Jane Kenyon