“You’re dreaming the book, the tangible, tactile object. You haven’t heard yet of perfect binding, of dingbats, of saddle stitching, Corel, Ventura, fulfillment, or financial statements. You certainly are not contemplating twenty years of labour, of screening twenty thousand manuscripts, of Editorial Board meetings, conferences with writers, proofreading, copy-editing, launches, grant-applications, Literary Press Group, the ACP, conference calls – if you had, you probably would not have hazarded the dream. The work alone would have thrown you off. No, you are in love with words, with story, with song, and you are doing nothing more than dreaming the book – a simple thing, a good thing, a thing that carries and sustains what you are and what the place you live in may become.”
–Wayne Tefs, recalling the night in 1976 when he created a press with the mandate to publish chapbooks by Manitoba poets.
Turnstone Press has become one of the most highly regarded book publishers in western Canada, publishing not only poetry but also fiction, literary criticism, and non-fiction. Among the first artists to have their work published through Turnstone were Robert Kroetsch (Seed Catalogue, 1977), Miriam Waddington (Mister Never, ca. 1978), Ralph Gustafson (Soviet Poems, ca. 1978), and Tom Wayman (A Planet Mostly Sea, 1979). In 1998 Turnstone Press launched Ravenstone Books, an imprint dedicated to mysteries, thrillers, and noir fiction. Ravenstone Books is home to Janice MacDonald’s Randy Craig series and Chadwick Ginther’s Thunder Road trilogy.
Turnstone Press is committed to their literary and cultural role in Manitoba and, more widely, Canada. Every book they publish speaks to this commitment. They publish only Canadian authors or landed immigrants, and strive to publish a significant number of new writers, to publish in a variety of genres, and to publish 50 per cent Manitoba writers and/or books with Manitoba content.
Turnstone Press has launched the careers of many Canadian writers, including, Di Brandt, John Gould, Lawerence Hill, Sylvia Legris, Margaret Sweatman, and Armin Wiebe, who just released a new collection of stories, Armin’s Shorts.
Canadian writing has never been more exciting, and Turnstone Press is proud to have been a part of its history and keenly looks forward to the future. Despite the risk inherent in publishing new Canadian literary writing, Turnstone Press remains committed to pursuing and promoting new, thought-provoking authors and books.
Turnstone Press celebrates 40 years in Canadian Publishing next spring, and plans to celebrate all year long.