by Jeremy Luke Hill
Growing up in Guelph as a reader and a writer and book lover, it always seemed sad to me that we didn’t have a publisher in the city. There was no trade publisher (because, I was told, we were too small and too close to Toronto), no university press (because Guelph was originally founded as an agricultural college rather than an academic institution), and no literary publisher closer than Erin (for reasons that nobody could quite explain to me). I eventually discovered that there was an office of Broadview Press in town, and there have been some very small presses and publishers of various sorts sprout and fade over the years (including some ongoing ventures that I’ve had a hand in), but nothing that engaged in a national conversation about books and literature.
This past spring I thought I had an opportunity to do something about that. I knew that The Porcupine’s Quill press in Erin was for sale, and circumstances seemed to make buying it a possibility. Nothing came of those negotiations in the end, but my friend Shane Neilson and I had already put so much work into preparing for that purchase, that we decided to venture out on our own and found a brand new, nationally distributed, literary publisher.
And so Gordon Hill Press was born, with Shane as the editor and me as the publisher.
Jeremy Luke Hill, co-founder of Gordon Hill Press (image courtesy of the artist)
The production cycle in publishing is long, so our first slate of books won’t be out until fall 2019, but we’re excited to be publishing some great titles right from the beginning – unmeaningable by Roxanna Bennett, a collection of poetry about the experience of living with disability; A Cemetery for Holes, by Tom Prime and Gary Barwin, a collaborative book of poetry about family trauma; and Sourcebooks for Our Drawings by Danny Jacobs, a collection of lyric essays about growing up in New Brunswick. You can find more about those authors and books on our website – www.gordonhillpress.com.
Coming up on Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 PM, at Brothers Brewery, we’re also having a party to launch the press officially. We’ll have a reading or two (we’re a publisher after all), but it will mostly be an evening of music and food and fun to celebrate Guelph’s first literary publisher. You’re all invited, and it’s free. Just bring your favourite book of poetry to put in the bin as you arrive, so you can randomly take someone else’s favourite with you when you leave.