Why Pedlar Press?

How did you come to name the press Pedlar? Many have asked. In 1996, searching for a name, I uncovered the little-known fact of Walt Whitman selling his Leaves of Grass door-to-door across America. A pedlar of poetry & of beauty & of a great love for the human & natural worlds: I believed, in 1996, that the image of a queer poet (who had suffered already more than his share of detractors), on the road in the dark with only a pronounced trust in the worthiness of his project, was an image that would sustain me across the vicissitudes, the blind alleys and cries in the night. And it has, a thousand times over.

Pedlar Press is dedicated to the memory of Walt Whitman’s agency & dignity & faith.

Working to Disruption

Independent literary presses are mission-driven not market-driven. The motive to publish is to enrich the literary culture by bringing works by important and often neglected writers to the widest possible audience. Manuscripts are selected and books are published as part of a press’s fulfillment of its mission. Mission Statement (excerpt): To publish modern and contemporary literature of enduring cultural and artistic importance, works that challenge accepted views of life and art, foster an international and multicultural sensibility of literature and preserve and extend the literary tradition that values innovation and experimentation in form.


Spring 2012