For 21 years, Tupelo Press has devoted themselves to widening the audience for contemporary poetry and literary prose by emerging and established writers of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, including, especially, women and writers of color, the LGBTQ, immigrant, and Native American communities.
Last year, for example, recently they published Native Voices: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations: an anthology of urgent contemporary poetry and eloquent craft essays and histories by Indigenous writers, spanning the mid-twentieth century to today. This anthology has become a best seller and cynosure of dozens of readings around the country, adopted, thus far, by 17 university courses.
Tupelo Press aims to develop wider audiences for, and deeper understanding of, innovative, multi-cultural writing by essential participants in this dialogue. At the same time, they undertake to enhance the reading experience itself by publishing and distributing gorgeously designed and produced books. Tupelo Press has published and distributed 245 well-reviewed titles, so many of them prize-winning, all of them, I believe, necessary.
They have always privileged emerging writers, launching the careers of such notable poets as Ilya Kaminsky, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Maggie Smith, Ruth-Ellen Kocher & Dan Beachy Quick. Women authors comprise over 65% of their list. With these works in particular they offer underserved audiences (immigrant, Spanish speaking, LGBTQ, people of color, Native American) access to myriad rewards.
With their efforts on multiple fronts, important writing enriches our lives and helps us better understand ourselves and the world in which we find ourselves.
I am proud to be a Tupelo author.