Carnegie Mellon University Press, now in its forty-third year of publishing, was founded by Gerald Costanzo in 1972 as “Three Rivers Press.” Three Rivers Press published chapbooks and full-length collections as well as Three Rivers Poetry Journal. The journal, which appeared semi-annually from 1972-1992, included special issues on Dave Smith (accompanied by an essay by John Gardner), Peter Cooley (essay by Philip Dacey), Patricia Goedicke (essay by Ron Slate), Mary Oliver (essay by Robert Wallace) and Brendan Galvin (essay by George Garrett). Titles under the Carnegie Mellon University Press imprint commenced in 1975 and have included titles by Pulitzer Prize winners Rita Dove, Ted Kooser, Franz Wright and Stephen Dunn.
Carnegie Mellon University Press’ particular strength continues to lie in literary publishing with the following series:
- Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
- Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporaries Series (reissuing of significant early books by important contemporary poets and writers of short fiction, including Pulitzer Prize winners in poetry Carolyn Kizer, James Tate and Philip Levine; and National Book Award in poetry winners Philip Levine, James Tate, Gerald Stern, Jean Valentine and Terrance Hayes)
- Carnegie Mellon Series in Translation
- Carnegie Mellon Series in Short Fiction
- Poets in Prose Series (titles have included texts in the form of poets writing about their writing lives, poetry criticism, and guidebooks and handbooks about the writing of poetry)
The Press also publishes regional social history (titles that explore the rich history of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania), art history, the performing arts (original plays and adaptations), literary analysis, education, university history, and entertainment technology. Carnegie Mellon is unique among American universities in offering interactive studies in the fine arts and computer technology.