In a 1999 interview published by the Boston Phoenix, the late poet Adrienne Rich said, “There’s a lot of what I would call comfortable poetry around. But then there is all this other stuff going on — which is wilder, which is bristling; it’s juicier, it’s everything that you would want. And it’s not comfortable. That’s the kind of poetry that interests me — a field of energy. It’s intellectual and moral and political and sexual and sensual — all of that fermenting together. It can speak to people who have themselves felt like monsters and say: you are not alone, this is not monstrous. It can disturb and enrapture.”
Inspired by these words and founded in 2010 by poet Bryan Borland, Sibling Rivalry Press changed the literary landscape in the last decade by daring to be the first publisher to take chances on rising (now flying) voices such as Ocean Vuong, Saeed Jones, and Kaveh Akbar. We signed authors who had broken down doors in the 80s and 90s but who'd been forgotten or ignored by the literary establishment, a generation of gay men who'd written during a time when to publish with one's real name was dangerous. We wanted our ages to be diverse, our faces to be diverse, and our accents to be diverse. We reached into the midwest and south and built bridges between the American coasts, successfully proving that, while we love our shining cities to the east and west, the dirt from middle America grows some fierce flowers. We worked with self-published writers and poets from the spoken-word circuits. We turned down large distribution deals and opted to bring our books directly to you ourselves. We did everything we weren't supposed to do and made a lot of people uncomfortable in the process, and always paid our writers along the way. A decade in, we're still here.
Sibling Rivalry Press authors have gone on to win such prestigious prizes as the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, the MacArthur Genius Grant, the Whiting Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize. In our first ten years, we became the first press, large or small, to win Lambda Literary Awards in both Gay Poetry and Lesbian Poetry. We’ve published Poets & Writers Top Debut Fiction, a Poets & Writers Top 12 Debut Poet, a Pushcart Prize winner, eight Lambda Literary Award finalists, three Publishing Triangle Award finalists, 29 American Library Association “Over the Rainbow” recommended LGBT titles, four American Library Association “Over the Rainbow” top 10 favorite picks, “a book all Georgian’s should read” as selected by the Georgia Center for the Book, one of Library Journal‘s “Best New Magazines,” one of Flavorwire‘s “50 books that define the last five years of literature,” and finalists for the Bisexual Poetry Book of the Year, the Oregon Book of the Year, the Oklahoma Book of the Year, and the Georgia Book of the Year.
In 2015, the Library of Congress acquired all of Sibling Rivalry Press’s printed titles, past and future, for induction into its Rare Books and Special Collections Vault, where they will be “housed among history’s greatest writers for all of perpetuity.”
While we champion our LGBTQ authors and artists, and while we’ve been very fortunate in our successes in LGBTQ publishing, we are an inclusive publishing house and welcome all authors, artists, and readers regardless of sexual orientation or identity. We publish work that makes us feel electric.
We were also the first home of the Undocupoet Fellowship, which in its first several years was administered by the Sibling Rivalry Press Foundation. The Undocupoet Fellowship awards stipends to undocumented or formerly-undocumented writers to help cover the costs of submission fees.
We're proud of our place in the world, and we're proud to do our part to bring people together, but we can't do it alone. Sibling Rivalry Press is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization. Contributions to support the operations of Sibling Rivalry Press are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law, and your donations will go directly to assist in the publication of work that disturbs and enraptures. If you value our work, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to ensure we continue to disturb and enrapture. To support our continued existence, CLICK HERE.