Expedition Press is a poetry-focused letterpress printshop in Kingston, WA run by artist Myrna Keliher. Our mission is to deepen regard for language and increase access to poetry. We make art on paper with words and share it.
Damn fine words
Our work begins and ends with reading. We select words to print that make us shout out loud, think real hard, and feel big feelings.
Poetry grants access to our deepest interiors and invites us to imagine beyond. Imagination is crucial to freedom and so we work to make poetry seen and felt by more human hearts.
We honor and thank the authors and publishers whose work makes our work possible.
We support precision of language with precision of form. As poetry distills language to its most essential, our typography aims to create a singular, striking reading experience.
We design with handset type and print with antique presses. Not because we feel especially romantic about the equipment, but because they are powerful tools we know how to use.
Our commitment to the craft of letterpress printing is rooted in its capacity to propagate important words in an immediate, tangible, beautiful way.
What we do
Expedition’s work aims to make poetry public in a way that’s difficult to ignore and easy to disseminate. Mostly, we print words on paper. Sometimes we paint them on walls. We offer editorial support as well.
We ship our work worldwide: you can buy prints here on our website. We always get permission and we often collaborate directly with the authors and publishers whose words and books we work with.
Printing & artwork
We print poetry on paper of various sizes, from excerpts on small cards to full broadsides. We also produce other kinds of original artwork across many media. These activities often correspond and interrelate.
Our projects are typically solicited and often self-initiated. Expedition Press is not open for submissions. We don’t have the resources to responsibly attend to unsolicited manuscripts and we’re not focused on publishing. At odds with this reality is our desire to discover new work and to support working writers.
There’s no easy answer here. If you’re an author who wants to work with us, we welcome a hello email with a note about what you see in our work and why you’re interested. We may be slow to respond and the answer is often no. Regardless. Please keep writing and we will keep reading.
Collaborations & commissions
We do collaborative projects that call attention to a given text, as well as straight-across commissions (design and print for hire). We love to take an active role in helping promote authors whose work we admire and independent publishers and nonprofits whose values align with ours. Cross-pollination is good for the literary ecosystem!
Typical projects include broadsides, inserts, bookmarks, postcards, keepsakes, etc. We offer editorial support (selecting, content and copyediting, proofreading) and help with digital assets as well (process photos, product copy, social sharing, storytelling, etc). If you want words on a wall, we’re happy to talk about that too. Direct inquiries to myrna (at) expedition.press.
What we don’t do
We don’t offer self-publishing services; we don’t make books for hire; we don’t do wedding invitations (unless we love you tons); we rarely do digital design-only work. We don’t do much jobwork (business cards, announcements, invites, etc) but we do enjoy it. We make time to support local folks doing good work in our community whenever possible. We can also recommend a number of great designers and printers with different specialties, please ask.
What we believe
We believe that poetry is vital to living. It provides direct access to our deepest interiors and invites us to imagine beyond. Imagination is crucial to freedom and so we work to make poetry seen and felt by more human hearts. To this end we produce art on paper with letters and distribute it as widely as possible. We fight to make space for the imagination in our everyday visual environment.
Black lives matter. We are working to embed antiracist practices in every aspect of our own (white) lives. This is ongoing work. We prioritize words by Black people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, and women+ people in the interest of expanding all people’s capacity to imagine. We seek out authors of different backgrounds and experiences from our own in order to bridge gaps, draw communities together, and illuminate the dark places we all hurt from.
We believe that change happens one human heart at a time. What happens small will happen big. We want people to gain a deeper understanding of their own hearts so that they can learn to allow and do the same for others. We believe poetry is essential to this process. We want to live in a world every day more awake, more alive, more equitable, and more just. Poetry aids self-knowledge with sharp blows to the head and speaks from the edge of all that can’t be said.
In all design deliberations, we begin and end with the text. As poetry distills language to its most essential, our typography aims to create a singular, striking reading experience. We are deeply committed to the craft of letterpress printing because of its capacity to communicate and propagate things that need to be read in an immediate, tangible, beautiful way. We support precision of language with precision of form, from individual letters to book-length texts, from pocket-sized prints to wall-sized paintings.
We conduct business on the basis of warm, real, and respectful human relationships. Our marketing strategy is threefold: to be genuine, generous, and grateful. We live and work in community. Our shop is a home for writers, readers, thinkers, and poets. For authors, editors, publishers, booksellers, and overcommitted literary types of every stripe. For kids after school. For grandparents and neighbors and teachers and artists and engineers. For all who have something to say and struggle with how to say it. We help distill and distribute deeply felt words.
We source our materials as close to home as possible. We shop at the hardware store across the street and walk to the local post office. We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and so we make things that last. We buy quality materials and we allow the time for quality craftsmanship. We reuse and recycle and rethink our practices regularly. We work toward sustainable systems for our earth and our bodies. We are committed to education and mentorship and we say yes to people who show up wanting to learn, especially young people. We operate within, and seek to expand, a culture of service and gratitude.
Thank you, dear reader, thank you. We love what we do.