All Poetry All the Time
As one of the few poetry-only publishers in the world and a long-venerated member of Canada’s publishing industry, Brick Books is a hub and a home for poets and lovers of poetry. Our guiding goal is to listen to and amplify urgent voices in poetry, and to do so with kindness and rigour. We aim to stand for and lavish attention upon unquantifiable things, and to make way for perspectives that have been marginalized; we believe in poetry as a space to speak publicly what can’t be said or heard elsewhere. Our mission is to hold space for poetry in Canada and the world (or, in other words, to champion a hard-to-commodify art form in a capitalist culture!) and to do it with an almost obsessive level of care. We commit to each book by pouring all of our resources into it because poetry is our thing — not a side project to other genres, so we do the very best we can by it.
Through the curation of poetry with deep craft and something at stake, Brick Books strives to broaden the definitions of what poetry can be and do. We stand for reconnecting beautiful words to their political power. We aspire to bring moving and relevant books into the world, to honour poetry as an intangible-but-essential act of attention and crucial mode of speech.
Poetry as an Ethical Practice
At Brick, we endeavour to be a bulwark against a world in which care is not the first priority; this means prioritizing humane treatment of our poets and staff, and everyone we interact with. We value collective decision-making and apply this value in a structural way, aiming to do poetry’s work in the world at an institutional level. We strive to be poet-centred; to do an exemplary job of editing, production, distribution, and promotion; to offer a publishing experience that does not compromise care of art for fashion or commerce. The result is excellence in all aspects of the publishing process and a list that increasingly speaks to the cultural and aesthetic diversity of the land we live on.
Brick Books is all ears—open to all kinds of poetry (experimental, spoken word, lyric, conceptual). Our goal is to be a passionate, attentive, warm, and responsive sanctuary in Canadian publishing.
Where We Come From, Where We Are, Where We’re Going
Founded by Stan Dragland and Don McKay in 1975, the press began by publishing chapbooks. We now publish full-length volumes of an individual author’s work, with an average of eight new books and nine reprints every year. Brick Books’ mandate has, from the beginning, been to foster compelling work by Canadian poets and translators of poetry, both new and established. More recently, we have added to this mandate a commitment to continually expand the range of voices that we employ and amplify, while we maintain the exceptional editorial standard for which Brick Books has gained a national reputation.
Though much of the work of Brick Books takes place on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and Mississaugas of the Credit peoples, our editors, authors, and readers from many backgrounds are situated from coast to coast to coast in Canada on the traditional and unceded territories of over six hundred nations who have cared for Turtle Island from time immemorial. While living and working on these lands, we are committed to hearing and returning the rightful imaginative space to the poetries, songs, and stories that have been untold, under-told, wrongly told, and suppressed through colonization.
As a press composed of Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors and editorial board members and, at present, a non-Indigenous core staff, we pledge to continually increase our understanding of and practical solidarity with Indigenous realities on and unaddressed claims to these lands.
Stan Dragland (emeritus)
Don McKay (emeritus)