Pen & Anvil is a not-for-profit literary publishing operation based in Boston. We were founded as a project of our parent company, the Boston Poetry Union, in order to facilitate publishing opportunities for members of the Union, and to support the publishing projects of those members.
Over time, Press staff and volunteers came to have a hand in the editorial, production or business affairs of more than two dozen literary magazines, some of which are wholly owned by the Union, and some of which we produce in cooperation with external organizations. Pen & Anvil now publishes books, journals, chapbooks, posters, and broadsides. A growing list of our publications and imprints can be found at our catalogue page.
Pen & Anvil is regional in that we promote the literary values of Boston and New England; among these are an abiding interest in education, nature and tradition. We feel successful when we've promoted a new author, re-published an out-of-print book, brought a work into English translation, or provided an author with a legitimate platform for his or her work. That said, our authors are not exclusively from this area. We are always interested in working with authors from far afield, especially with persons representing literary or cultural traditions which are under-represented in the English-language market.
Our logo depicts a penman at his anvil. This is an image of literature being wrought, with hard work, from the raw material of imagination. The principle of workmanship is central to our editorial ethos. We feel a similar sentiment is expressed in the line of verse appearing at the top of this page, by poet Alissa Valles: "How about a few lines to engrave on a ring or a stone?"
If we have an overarching mission in our work as publishers, editors and literary producers, it is to support writing worth preserving on stone with an iron pen. We want to celebrate and publish writing which is durable, compact, useful, lovely, and relevant; and we take the view that this mission does not limit us to any particular genre, language, or literary mode.
graphic: Pierre Auguste Cot , "Ophelia" (1870)