While Rochester has any number of solid printing houses, there really few serious literary publishers here.
But at least one is major: BOA Editions
Led by Executive Director Nora Jones, Editor Thom Ward, and Fiction Editor and Marketing Director Peter Conners, BOA EDITIONS, LTD. is a Pulitzer Prize-winning, not-for-profit publishing house that has won national acclaim for decades.
Founded in 1976 by poet, editor, and translator Al Poulin, Jr., BOA has published over 170 books of American poetry and poetry in translation, including works by Pulitzer Prize-winning author W.D. Snodgrass, Li-Young Lee, William Heyen, David Ignatow, Robert Bly, Richard Kostelanetz, Richard Wilbur, and many others. More than 1,000 libraries, schools, book stores and literary centers shelve BOA poetry books.
BOA has been in the forefront of bringing literature to the Rochester community as well.
BOA annually donates hundreds of books to libraries, schools, senior centers, YMCAs, hospitals and Native American reservations, and frequently schedules its authors for free readings.
BOA has also taught Literacy Volunteer tutors how to incorporate poetry into their literacy tutoring work with adults, and prepares Classroom Guides for teachers to introduce their students to contemporary American poets and poetry.
As of 2007, BOA will publish literary fiction through its American Reader Series. Their current focus is on short story collections, although novels may also be considered.
"Our books are not best sellers, but they are considered by reviewers, booksellers, librarians, teachers and students to be some of the finest collections of literature currently being published," reads a passage on the BOA web site. And so donations from the public have been a major force in continuing BOA's work. Those who may wish to assist BOA with a donation should visit the BOA site at boaeditions.org/about_BOA/donors.html.
Less well known, but quite as prolific, FootHills Publishing has released more than 250 chapbooks or books since it was formed in 1986 "for the purpose of getting into print the words of poets who found it hard to get their work out to the public other than at readings or in the occasional magazine."
The first few books were published in conjunction with Great Elm Press, operated by Walt Franklin. Michael Czarnecki, assisted by his wife and sons, has led it since. From the central hills of New York, the publishing house has issued books by poets of both local reknown and major stature.
You can visit its web site at foothillspublishing.com.