Autumn House Press was founded in 1998 by Michael Simms when prominent American publishers, driven by economic concerns, dramatically reduced their poetry lists. As a result, influential contemporary poets were left struggling to find publishers. Today, independent presses are now publishing some of the most important work in America and are largely nurturing the great American poetic tradition.
Since our launch, Autumn House has expanded to publish fiction (2008) and nonfiction titles (2010). These books receive the same attention to design and manufacturing as our award-winning poetry titles.
Autumn House publications have received a great deal of recognition and acclaim. In 2011, we earned a Certificate of Appreciation from the Pennsylvania legislature recognizing our contribution to the arts. Our books are regularly reviewed in Ploughshares, Brevity, London Grip Review, The Women’s Review of Books, The Jewish Review of Books, and Poets Quarterly. Many of our poems have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Verse Daily, and others. Our titles also circulate within the local Pittsburgh community, with reviews in The Pittsburgh City Paper and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Our books have won numerous awards over the years, such as Love for Sale and Other Essays by Clifford Thompson, which won the 2013 Whiting Award, and Further News of Defeat by Michael X. Wang, which won the 2021 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.
In 2016, founder and editor in chief Michael Simms retired after 18 impressive years. Christine Stroud took on the role of editor in chief and Melissa Becker became board president.