Twenty Years of Publishing Quality Poetry from Around the Country

I have been a small press publisher for twenty years. With Tia Chucha Press, distributed to the trade by Northwestern University Press, we've created books by some of the best cross-cultural young and veteran poets in the country. Our roster includes well-known writers such as Diane Glancy, Kyoko Mori, Terrance Hayes, A.Van Jordan, Patricia Smith, Alfred Arteaga, Tony Fitzpatrick, Richard Vargas, and others. We were the first publishers of David Hernandez, Gale Renee Walden, Andres Rodriguez, Cin Salach, Lisa Buscani, Patricia Spears Jones, Linda Susan Jackson, and ariel robello. We've also published chapbooks and a CD--around 50 books over the past two decades.

Last month, one of TCP's authors, Elizabeth Alexander, read the inaugural poem for President Barack Obama--only the fourth inaugural poet in US history.

This press eventually helped the conception of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore, the nonprofit arts workshop, cultural space, and bookstore in the Northeast San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles. Tia Chucha's Centro in more than seven years has become a beloved cultural space, Open Mic venue, and community literacy center--we will be in a new space in a new building in the Sylmar community by March 1. A Grand Opening is set for March 28. Please go to for more information.

Yesterday, we had our first 20th anniversary event at Tia Chucha's Centro with TCP authors Susan D. Anderson and Luivette Resto. Around thirty people, including youth, came to hear Susan and Luivette read poetry and celebrate the power of small press publishing in this country. Their books, "Nostalgia for a Trumpet" and "Unfinished Portrait," respectively, are now available for sale.

We hope to have other TCP anniversary events this year, including in Chicago, the birthplace of Tia Chucha Press.

Small presses are where many of this country's best writers, particularly poets, first began. They have names like Manic D, Red Hen, Coffee House, , Slipstream, Curbstone, Seeing Eye--from chapbook makers to publishers of books that rival an imprint at a big publishing house.

Tia Chucha Press is one of these that has continuously published quality poetry books, beautifully designed (by Jane Brunette who has designed our books for twenty years). We plan to keep publishing, even in these hard times, even when many high-end institutions and publishers are abandoning the arts and literature. We will keep the banner high that in hard times, as in any times, the arts, poetry, song, dance, theater, and music keeps the economy, society and the cultural realm alive and meaningful.

Please celebrate with us by buying Tia Chucha Press books--or any books by a small press--whenever you visit an independent bookstore or Barnes & Noble or You never know when the next Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Sandra Cisneros--or Elizabeth Alexander--may turn up.


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