Sand Paper Press

About the Press

Sand Paper Press is an independent publishing venture based in Key West, Florida, in operation since 2003. With an abiding interest in poetry, the Press is also focused on short fiction, Latin American literature in translation, and history.

Given the illustrious roll call of poets who have passed through Key West, it is fitting that Sand Paper has gravitated toward poetry. 2010 saw the publication of Harry Mathews’ The New Tourism, the American avant-garde legend’s first collection of poems in 20 years (named a “Book of the Year” by the Times Literary Supplement). In 2011, the Press released The Last Books of Héctor Viel Temperley, a bilingual edition of the late Argentine poet’s Crawl and Hospital Británico, translated into English (by poet Stuart Krimko) for the first time (selected by BOMB Magazine as an “Editor’s Choice”). Belleza y Felicidad: Selected Writings of Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón, also translated by Krimko, was released in February 2015. This authoritative volume transmits the urgency and passionate feeling at the heart of one of the most exciting artistic and literary movements to emerge from South America in recent decades.

In November 2017, Sand Paper issued its first work of nonfiction. Arlo Haskell’s The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, & Revolutionaries (1823-1969) tells the dramatic story of South Florida’s oldest Jewish community and is a major addition to the history of this island city. It received the Florida Book Award gold medal for Florida nonfiction and a President’s Award from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Key West has long been a hub of literary endeavor, attracting authors as diverse as Elizabeth Bishop, Judy Blume, Annie Dillard, James Merrill, Shel Silverstein, Joy Williams, Charlie Smith, Charles Olson, and Wallace Stevens. Its unique environment veers from the disarmingly beautiful to the unforgivably tacky; and engenders a combination of concentrated revery and embodied pleasure that sets Key West apart from other literary haunts. This geographical site, distinguished by its distance and difference from the metropolises that dominate the landscape, is treated by the Press as a crucial local asset, a specific point of reference in the physical world, and a philosophical foundation.

Books are designed by David Janik and distributed by Small Press Distribution.