In 1974, Graywolf’s founder Scott Walker embarked on a publishing adventure. Originally working out of a space provided by Copper Canyon Press in Port Townsend, Washington, Graywolf soon moved in to a shop of its own, or rather into Scott’s backyard in a small outbuilding affectionately called the “print shack.”
It was in this small, cramped building that the first books were produced for the reading public. Each book was painstakingly hand-set and hand-printed on treadle-operated machines. After six months of fourteen-hour days, the first full-length poetry book, Instructions to the Double by Tess Gallagher, was given life. The small print run of fifteen hundred copies sold out in four months.
Since then, Graywolf has expanded its list to include novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, as well as poetry, and has discovered and/or promoted such writers as Elizabeth Alexander, Charles Baxter, Sven Birkerts, Linda Gregg, Eamon Grennan, Tony Hoagland, Jane Kenyon, William Kittredge, Carl Phillips, William Stafford, David Treuer, and Brenda Ueland. A commitment to quality, and a willingness to embrace or invent new models, has kept Graywolf at the forefront of the small press movement. Today, Graywolf is considered one of the nation’s leading nonprofit literary publishers.