Publishing History

Since 1976, West End Press has published progressive, community-based poetry, drama, fiction, and memoir, with a concentration on working class, women, and multicultural writers. Our books are oriented toward social change, though we don’t subscribe to a single political agenda. We see no contradiction between literature and politics; we believe all art has a social dimension.

We publish relevant writing for the new century, reflecting the growth of an international, cosmopolitan culture. We seek to capture the rhythm and substance of people’s art, music, and spoken performance. We seek a broader audience through digital technology and by working with grassroots organizations for social change.

We believe literature contains powerful symbols capable of transforming reality. We believe people must develop their societies in freedom, with respect for all their members and the natural world around them. In particular we oppose racism and class oppression and support open borders.

We consider submissions from the entire United States, but we favor the Southwest where we are currently based. Since 1984 we’ve published a majority of our books by writers from the Pacific Coast to Texas and Oklahoma. We currently consider borderlands literature as well.

We are grateful for all our associations. We remember our authors and elders: Meridel Le Sueur, Thomas McGrath, and Paula Gunn Allen. Our friends include Anya Achtenberg, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Sharon Doubiago, Carolyn Forche, Mandy Gardner, Lisa Gill, Joy Harjo, Michael Henson, Linda Hogan, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Glenna Luschei, Tony Mares, Bryce Milligan, Cherrie Moraga, Naomi Shihab Nye, Margaret Randall, Fred Whitehead, and Janet Zandy,.

Photo: Patricia Clark Smith and John Crawford, 1997
Caption: Patricia Clark Smith, the publisher’s wife, died in 2010. She was a major inspiration in the work of the Press for twenty years, a gifted teacher at the University of New Mexico, and a mixed blood Micmac Indian poet and memoirist.