In House: Palimpsest Press

January 15, 2015

In House is a regular column, highlighting the various publishers that have books featured and available for purchase on All Lit Up. Find out things like what sorts of books they publish, where in Canada they call home, and how they got their start.

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Palimpsest Press resides in the bustling literary community of Windsor, Ontario and publishes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction titles specifically dealing with poetics, the writing life, and cultural criticism. The press publishes six to seven new titles a year.

Dawn Kresan first founded the press in 2000 with a four-year project in mind: to publish Kaleidoscope: An International Journal of Poetry. Once this project was complete Palimpsest was looking for new challenges and ways to use the knowledge gained the last four years. In 2004 their first trade poetry collection was published and by 2005 they were offering hand-bound chapbooks, including Steven Heighton’s Paper Lanterns and Christian Bök’s Triptych.

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By the time the late ‘00s rolled around Palimpsest Press had become firmly established, with a home on the web to showcase their growing line of titles, professional distribution through LitDistCo, and deepening ties to the Canadian literary community through their membership in the Literary Press Group. 2009 saw the publication of one of their standout titles, Kate Braid’s poetry collection Turning Left to the Ladies, which explores the relationship between women and physical labour predominantly thought to be associated with men, namely, carpentry and construction.

Now 15 years old, Palimpsest Press has hit its stride with a new publisher at the helm, Aimee Parent Dunn, as they seek out the best new and established voices in Canadian literature. The press has a mandate to publish high quality work, with poetry that displays technical mastery, precise language, and an authentic voice, and fiction that is rich in imagery and well crafted, with a focus on character development. They are always mindful and take pride in producing beautifully designed volumes that readers will be able to keep on their shelves for years to come.

Besides producing high quality books, Palimpsest Press feels very strongly that independent Canadian presses help build and strengthen literary communities. To that end, they recently launched the Pillette Village Reading series, a monthly series in a Windsor neighbourhood called Pillette Village. The reading series will feature national readers along with local authors and provide an open mic to encourage those in the community who want to get involved in the literary scene.

 

 

Blair Trewartha reading to a crowd of over 60 at the inaugural Pillette Village Reading Series 

 

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Publisher Aimee Parent Dunn and former publisher Dawn Kresan

 

(Photos shared with permission of publisher Aimee Parent Dunn)

 

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The next Pillette Village Reading series event is on January 18 at the Nancy Johns Gallery in Windsor. With readings from Jim Johnstone, Julie Cameron Gray, and Dorothy Mahoney.


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