CALYX History

One of the Nation’s Oldest Presses

CALYX Journal was established in 1976 by four women with a vision to provide a publication that celebrates the excellence and diversity of women’s literature and art. The point of view of women authors is an important component of our cultural heritage, and CALYX works to ensure that this point of view is not lost. CALYX showcases women’s art and literature to make up for the disparities women writers have suffered. A recent survey shows women’s writing represents only twenty-five percent of those published by small presses.

From the beginning, CALYX Journal established a reputation for discovering new writers and artists and presenting their work in an elegant format. Thousands of writers and artists have been published by CALYX Journal since its inception (over 4,000 by 2012). A few who were published first or early in their careers include Julia Alvarez,  Ellen Bass, Chitra Divakaruni, Molly Gloss, Linda Hogan, Natalie Goldberg, Barbara Kingsolver, Colleen McElroy, Sharon Olds, Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska (the first English translations in the U.S.A.), and Eleanor Wilner, among others. CALYX Journal was also the first U.S. publisher of color art reproductions of the work of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

At the urging of Scot Walker (founder of Graywolf Press)—who pointed out that many of CALYX Journal’s anthologies were books—CALYX established CALYX Books in 1986. As a small press working with emerging authors, CALYX only publishes a few books annually—this allows the editors to concentrate on editorial support for each author. CALYX Books regularly publishes first books by an author; the editors love nothing more than launching a new writer’s career. CALYX Books has published 40 books to date. The books have been sold, translated, and produced in foreign languages in over 20 countries internationally. They include poetry collections, short story collections, novels, creative nonfiction, anthologies, and translations. CALYX authors have received many honors and awards, including Pushcart Prizes, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, the GLCA Fiction Award, the American Book Award, the Gerbode Award, finalists for the Lambda Book Awards, Western State Book Awards, and the ALA Small Press Book Awards, among others.