Kelsey Street Press was founded in 1974 to address the marginalization of women writers by small press and mainstream publishers. From the beginning, we linked our editorial policy to a poetics of allowance, encouraging women to write directly from their own creative imperatives, and to a poetics of inclusion that embraces racial and cultural diversity. Our early books were handset and printed two pages at a time on a basement letterpress. In the eighties, we instituted a series of cross-genre collaborative works between poets and visual artists.
A decade later, as our list included more established writers, we created the Frances Jaffer Book Award and, then, the FIRSTS! series to ensure continued support of emerging poets. At the heart of the Press remain the pleasures of the written page, books that can be held and carried, and ongoing participation in a continually changing poetry community. With over forty-five years of publishing, we remain true to our commitment to bring out a wide range of voices, including the work of trans and genderqueer authors of our time.