Founded in 1997 by Gary Dunfield & Andrew Steeves, Gaspereau Press is one of Canada’s most innovative and tenacious literary publishers. The award-winning press is known for the originality of its authors, the beauty of it’s books and the quality of its productions. It’s books—Smyth-sewn trade paperbacks, cloth-bound hardcovers and letterpress-printed limited edition—are produced in Gaspereau’s own printing works, located in the sleepy shiretown of Kentville, Nova Scotia. The press employs an unusual mixture of techniques & technologies in its book production, ranging from traditional letterpress printing using metal type and photopolymer plates to modern offset lithographic printing using customized digital type. Trade paperbacks are Smyth-sewn for strength and flexibility and often sport handprinted jackets on handmade paper; hardcovers are case-bound by hand. From editing, typesetting and production to sales and promotion, this hands-on approach carries through every aspect of a book’s creation, resulting in a process which is as culturally enriching as the books it fosters.
No one values the care and attention that Gaspereau lavishes on its books more than its authors, and the press’s success is rooted in its ability to attract award-winning writers, such as Tim Bowling, Robert Bringhurst, George Elliott Clarke, Don McKay, Carmine Starnino, John Terpstra, Thomas Wharton & Jan Zwicky. Spanning from fiction and poetry to belles lettres, memoir and natural history, the list reflects Canada’s rich diversity of ideas and styles. Lofty ideals in no way detract from Gaspereau’s practicality, any more than the beauty of its books take away from their functionality. A publisher must live by its wits as well as its whims. Gaspereau Press has thrice been voted the ‘Best Small Press Publisher’ in Canada by The Canadian Booksellers’ Association, most recently in 2010, an indication of its skill in bringing well-made, well-worth-reading books to market, proof that it’s still possible to produce books of quality and distinction on a human scale.