WHAT was Pedlar for 25 years?

An award-winning independent Canadian literary publishing house, based in St John’s NL. Pedlar Press was begun, and continues, with a house vision: to acquire works of exceptional literary quality which also break silences regarding widespread failures of social and political systems: to make books with serious intellectual and emotional content, in other words, that are also works of art. So much injustice cries out for attention, so much suffering, so many affronts to human dignity need to be met with strong literary force. Pedlar combines high aesthetic standards with a praxis of action; it means to foster humane social and political ends. It has been possible, over the twenty-two years of Pedlar’s existence, to combine an editorial vision that seeks out both works that are strong in literary quality and also distinctive, often avant-garde, and socially engaged. No Pedlar book is published as accepted. Each undergoes editorial transformation with an eye to making it meet not the author’s or the publisher’s personal needs, but the aesthetic requirements of the text itself. Integral to the vision embodied in acceptance and editorial shaping is the insistence that each book’s design—cover, guts and all—be not only striking but true to its content. With everyone working together— author, publisher, editor, copyeditor and designer—the aim is to produce literary works of integrity that will make a pronounced difference in the lives of Pedlar’s readers.

The intended readership is multiple: writers, lovers of literature, freedom fighters, spiritual questers, those who need literary sustenance, those who live in the margins. How to reach into the many and diverse corners of Canada to connect with different readers? With the help of its authors and those who fight injustices in other ways, Pedlar Press has made its (consistently award-winning) name by producing ground-breaking fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction by writers of consequence.

The editorial vision embraces rebellion, working at the margins with and for those who resist white patriarchal capitalist hegemony, who work in resistance to all that. The objective is to publish works that speak to intersectionality—the interconnectedness of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to individuals or groups, categorizations which reinforce interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Pedlar fosters an appreciation of modern and contemporary Canadian literature of enduring cultural and artistic importance, works that challenge accepted views of life and art, that foster an international and multicultural sensibility, that preserve and extend literary tradition that values innovation and experimentation in form.

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