I began working as an intern for Leslie Scalapino and O Books in 1997. It was there I first read Danielle Collobert’s It Then, translated by Norma Cole. I was deeply influenced by the intensity of Collobert’s writing, the way in which she writes both abstraction and urgency, presence and absence, into her often fragmented lines strung together with em dashes. Two years later, Norma Cole guest edited the feature section of Aufgabe #1, presenting covers and content pages from small press publications in France, “a sampling of the editorial art itself, inextricable from the instants of writing among which publishing events take place” (from Cole’s introduction).
— E. Tracy Grinnell
Litmus Press was launched in 2001 with the publication of the first issue of Aufgabe and Keith Waldrop’s The House Seen from Nowhere. From 2001 to 2004, Litmus Press operated out of pocket and out of the apartment of E. Tracy Grinnell in Providence, RI and then Brooklyn, NY. In 2004, Grinnell established Ether Sea Projects, Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, as the funding umbrella for the publishing activities of Litmus Press. Ether Sea Projects also provided early fiscal sponsorship for other small publishing projects such as Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs (founded by Brenda Iijima) and the Belladonna Series*
Ether Sea Projects now manages and distributes in-print titles originally published by O Books and The Post-Apollo Press. Litmus Press aims to preserve and extend the legacy of aesthetic innovation and feminist and progressive politics established by these vital predecessors.
Litmus Press is run by a small, part-time staff of dedicated poets, translators, artists, and editors committed to the ethics of community-making, mutual aid, and anti-capitalist experiments in literature and art that have driven small press publishing for over a century. While operating as a nonprofit, fulfilling the particular administrative and fundraising demands that that entails, we adamantly remain small and fluid, responsive to new movements and projects. We will always prioritize the publication of challenging, innovative, transformative and non-conformist texts and encourage depth of reader engagement over the expectations of an economic bottom line.
Litmus Press books are made possible by public funds from the The New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for Litmus Press comes from the The Leslie Scalapino – O Books Fund, individual members and donors. The design and development of this website is made possible with generous support from Tom White, of the Scalapino-O Books Fund, and Simone Fattal, of the Post-Apollo Press.
Litmus Press has received funding in the past from the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Jerome Foundation’s FACE OUT program, administered by the the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. Litmus Press remains a proud member of CLMP.
Our studio space in Brooklyn, New York, shared with Belladonna Series, is on Munsee Lenape and Canarsie land.
Board of Directors
Omar Berrada, President
Pierre Joris, Vice President
erica kaufman, Secretary
Ariel Resnikoff, Treasurer
Susan Bee, Director
E. Tracy Grinnell, Executive Director
Kyoo Lee, Director
Board of Directors, Advisory
Jen Hofer (Editor, 2004-2020)
Maryam Parhizkar (Editor, 2015-2020; Managing Editor, 2013–2015)
raphael schnee (Editorial Assistant, 2019-2020)
Simone White (Editor, 2015-2019)
m/ryan murphy (Managing Editor, 2018-2019; Editorial Assistant, 2016-2018)
Leigh Jajuga (Community Manager, 2017-2019; Editorial Assistant, 2014-2017)
Phoebe Glick (Community Manager, 2016-2018)
Stephon Lawrence (Community Manager, 2016-2018)
Emily Wang (Managing Editor, 2015-2018)
Maya Weeks (Community Manager, 2015–2017)
Ashna Ali (Managing Editor, Development Assistant, 2015–2017)
Zandra Ruiz (Contributing Editor, 2014)
Jamie Townsend (Contributing Editor, Aufgabe, 2012–2014)
Anna Zalokostas (Assistant Editor, Development, 2011–2013)
Pradeep Dalal (Art Editor, 2011)
Alice Whitwham (Assistant Editor, 2010–2011)
Paul Foster Johnson (Editor, 2003–2011)
Rachel Bers (Art Editor, 2002–2011)
Peter Neufeld (Aufgabe co-founder & Editor, 1999–2000)
Past Graduate Assistants, Interns, and Volunteers
Anna Marie Anastasi, Liz Bearden, Jessica Dagg, Alicia Haines Davis, Ian Davisson, Gabrielle Gilbert, Julia Gomula, Dylan Rosal Greif, Emily Hainze, Leigh Jajuga, Brittany M. Joy, Clay Kerrigan, Irene Lee, Kelly Liu, Noelle McMahan, Claire Meuschke, Shana Mirambeau, m/ryan murphy, Jennifer Orlando, Natalia Panzer, Katelyn Peters, Caroline Petty, Zandra Ruiz, Eliot Sandbach, raphael schnee, Maia Siegel, Emily Wang, Alice Whitwham, Anna Zalokostas