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Founder & Director

Jan Freeman

In the late 1980's in New York City, Paris Press director Jan Freeman attended a Poets House event honoring the work and life of the great writer and thinker Muriel Rukeyser. At that event, poets including Galway Kinnell, Nina Cassian, Phillip Levine, Stanley Kunitz, and Toi Derricotte read Rukeyser's poems, spoke about her life, and each participating poet referred to a book by Muriel Rukeyser that Jan Freeman was unfamiliar with, a collection of essays called The Life of Poetry. After searching for The Life of Poetry in libraries throughout New York City, Jan Freeman discovered that the book had been stolen from school libraries as well as public libraries throughout NYC. She began looking for the book in secondhand bookshops around the country, and 3 years later, she returned to NYC and discovered a copy in the window of a used bookstore on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Jan Freeman read the extraordinary collection of essays that addressed Americans' fear of the arts and poetry and the necessity of living with poetry and the arts in our daily lives to help us become more compassionatehuman beings. The Life of Poetry also addressed the connection between disciplines — science, architecture, dance, film, mathematics, theater, history, music, and poetry. Muriel Rukeyser claimed that boundaries are false, Jan Freeman decided that The Life of Poetry needed to be in print, in the world, and available. She founded Paris Press in 1995 with that one goal, and she has expanded Paris Press over 21 years to include other unique, life changing, and overlooked works of literature by women. Paris Press is located in the foothills of the Berkshires in rural Ashfield, Massachusetts. 

Keeping PARIS Press Alive

Paris Press is funded primarily through grants from public and private foundations and through contributions from individuals. Book sales provide an essential yet small percentage of the budget.

The Press welcomes feedback about our publications and outreach programs. We also welcome volunteers from around the world. For general comments and questions, please contact us at info@parispress.org.

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Our Mission

The mission of Paris Press is to publish groundbreaking yet overlooked literature by women writers. The tag line is "daring and beautiful books," and the Press places special emphasis on unique and essential content as well as beautiful design. The Press believes it is necessary to educate the public about the books and authors we publish. The Eleanor Lazarus Educational Outreach Initiative reflects these values, sponsoring programs for the public and under-served communities throughout the country.

 

What We Publish

Paris Press publishes all genres. Our most recent title is a new edition of Virginia Woolf's On Being Ill, with an Introduction by Woolf biographer Hermione Lee. This volume includes the addition of Woolf's mother's book, Julia Stephen's Notes from Sick Rooms, along with an Introduction to Julia Stephen by Woolf scholar Mark Hussey, and an Afterword by the founder of Narrative Medicine, internist Rita Charon. This paperback edition brings together mother and daughter and illness and caregiving in one volume for the first time in literary history; it also offers the first textual conversation between Woolf and Stephen.

Paris Press books, authors, and the Press itself have received more than 200 reviews and features in the national media, including The New York Times Book Review, "Fresh Air" (NPR), The New Yorker, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, The Dallas Morning News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe, and numerous regional publications.

To review our guidelines for manuscript submissions, please click here. Paris Press is currently accepting general submissions, as well as submissions for "Spiraling," the new Paris Press blog.

 

Community & Educational Outreach

The Eleanor Lazarus Educational Outreach Initiative serves as an umbrella for the Press's continued sponsorship of readings and educational programs for students and adults throughout the United States. These events take place in eclectic venues, including libraries, hospitals, community centers, museums, senior centers, churches, colleges and universities, secondary schools,  bookstores, private homes, and at conferences.

All Paris Press books are taught in secondary schools and/or colleges, and universities around the country. On Being Ill with Notes from Sick Rooms is used as a course adoption in literature courses as well as in Narrative Medicine programs, Medicine and Humanities programs, medical schools, and nursing schools.

Tell Me Another Morning by Zdena Berger has been a popular All School Read, as well as a course adoption in secondary schools during Holocaust Remembrance Month and in colleges and universities. The Press offers a thorough Tell Me Another Morning Study Guide and a Reader's Guide for teachers, students, book groups, and general readers.

For information about scheduling readings and outreach programs, please contact Jan Freeman, the Director of Paris Press, at janfreeman@parispress.org.

 

Where To Find Us

Paris Press books are available online from this website, in bookstores nationally and in Canada, and through online booksellers. Paris Press books are distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution/Ingram at 800-283-3572. We encourage individuals to order books directly from Paris Press in support of our publishing programs, and please support your local booksellers! Bookstores, please contact Consortium at 800-283-3572.