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GW 50 anniversary

March 12, 2024—Graywolf Press is proud to announce a series of events throughout 2024 celebrating fifty years of adventurous publishing, featuring debut and longstanding authors and taking place in New York City, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, and Tucson.

“It’s incredible to reflect on how far Graywolf has come in the last fifty years,” said Graywolf Director & Publisher Carmen Giménez. “But at the same time, our scrappy roots remain a core part of our identity. Looking ahead to the next fifty years, our charge is to keep Graywolf wild—to find and nurture the writers whose voices not only illuminate the world around us, but also change it. Our readers have proven time and again that they’re hungry for literature that breaks the mold, and we couldn’t do this work without the support of the reading public, donors, independent bookstores, and literary partners.”

Graywolf Press was founded in 1974, in Port Townsend, Washington, by Scott Walker. Graywolf’s first publications were limited-edition chapbooks of poetry, which were printed on a letterpress and handsewn by Walker and his colleagues. 

Graywolf was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1984, and in 1985, thanks in part to generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and from local philanthropic organizations, we moved to Minnesota. In 1994, Fiona McCrae joined Graywolf as Director and Publisher, a position she held until her retirement in 2022. McCrae was succeeded by Graywolf’s current Director and Publisher Carmen Giménez, whose collection Be Recorder—a finalist for the National Book Award—was published by Graywolf in 2019.

Today, Graywolf is considered one of the nation’s leading independent, nonprofit publishers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We publish thirty to thirty-five books each year by authors at all stages of their careers, from the United States and around the world. We continue to steward the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize—which has been awarded to Leslie Jamison, Eula Biss, and Esmé Weijun Wang, among others—and the Graywolf African Fiction Prize, which recently led to the publication of Noor Naga’s If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English (winner of the 2022 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Award).

In recent years, our books and authors have received significant national and international awards attention, including the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award. Just yesterday, Selva Almada’s Not a River was longlisted for the International Booker Prize. In 2023, Graywolf Press received the Center for Fiction’s Medal for Editorial Excellence, marking the first time this prize has been awarded to a publisher rather than an individual.

In addition to marquee events, we are delighted to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary with the publication of Raised by Wolves: Fifty Poets on Fifty Poems. A testament to the strength and variety of Graywolf’s poetry list, this collection brings together fifty poets to reflect on one another’s work, tracing threads of inspiration in a dynamic choral arrangement. Featuring some of the most significant voices of the last fifty years, Raised by Wolves celebrates our past while gesturing towards a thrilling future—one with poetry firmly at the center.

Speaking of the future, we are proud to kick off this anniversary year with a new mission statement: Graywolf Press publishes risk-taking, visionary writers who transform culture through literature. As we look ahead to the next fifty years, this mission will guide our commitment to seeking out and effectively publishing the daring, innovative voices that will bring about change, provoke dialogue, and reimagine what literature can do.

Please find anniversary event details below:

Chicago, IL

Raised by Wolves at The Poetry Foundation

April 25, 2024 at 7:00 PM

In celebration of Graywolf Press’s fiftieth anniversary and the publication of Raised by Wolves: Fifty Poets on Fifty Poems, award-winning poet Harryette Mullen (Urban Tumbleweed) will read from her poetry and discuss the complexities of influence and legacy, alongside Graywolf publisher and poet Carmen Giménez and in conversation with Graywolf executive editor and director of poetry Jeff Shotts. This event is free and open to the public. Click here to register.


New York, NY

Graywolf Literary Gala at Harvard Club

May 9, 2024 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM

A fundraising gala with cocktail reception, dinner, and a literary program featuring authors Natalie Diaz (Postcolonial Love Poem), Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House), Claudia Rankine (Citizen), Vijay Seshadri (That Was Now, This Is Then), Danez Smith (Bluff), and others. This is a ticketed event, click here for more details and to purchase tickets.


Minneapolis, MN

Graywolf Literary Gala at Machine Shop

September 19, 2024 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM (5:30 PM VIP dinner)

A fundraising gala featuring authors Heid Erdrich (New Poets of Native Nations), Donika Kelly (The Renunciations), Layli Long Soldier (WHEREAS), Manuel Muñoz (The Consequences), Kevin Young (Bunk), and others. The evening will feature a VIP dinner, dessert and cocktail reception, and literary-themed auction. This is a ticketed event, click here for more details and to purchase tickets.


San Francisco, CA

Graywolf Literary Salon at Fort Mason

October 23, 2024 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM

A literary salon featuring an introduction by Dana Gioia (Meet Me at the Lighthouse), followed by a reading and conversation with Maggie Nelson (Like Love), Solmaz Sharif (Customs), Graywolf publisher and director Carmen Giménez, and Graywolf editorial director Ethan Nosowsky. This is a ticketed event, click here for more details and to purchase tickets.


Tucson, AZ

Art of Translation at University of Arizona Poetry Center

October 24, 2024

This event will feature Peruvian poet Tilsa Otta and her translator Farid Matuk reading from and in conversation about Otta’s new collection The Hormone of Darkness. This event is free and open to the public.

These events are made possible by generous support from the Lannan Foundation.