Homestead Lighthouse Press Begins
By Robert McDowell
In 1917, Leonard and Virginia Woolf founded The Hogarth Press, named after their house in Richmond. Their intention? The press would be a hobby for Virginia, a way for her to decompress from the emotional stress of writing. Eventually, Virginia’s own work would also be published by the press, eliminating the debilitating experience of dealing with outside publishers.
The Woolfs purchased a small hand press, set type and began to hand-print books. The first was a thin volume that included a story by each of them. Soon, they produced a longer story, Prelude, by Katherine Mansfield and T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. Though they continued to set type by hand, they soon farmed out the printing to make use of larger printing presses that made possible larger print runs.
Of course, Hogarth Press did not remain small forever. It expanded, becoming a major publisher that exists to this day.
This is not the trajectory I envision for Homestead Lighthouse Press, though of course anything is possible. As co-founder of The Reaper magazine, Story Line Press and SLP’s publisher for 22 years, I experienced how a publishing house could grow to the point where it seemed to take on a life of its own. I can’t say that this new publishing house, HLP, will ever evolve to that point and I don’t give it any thought. I prefer to allow this new publishing house to be what it is, a publisher of good books that might appeal to good readers.
The name Homestead Lighthouse Press celebrates Emily Dickinson (whose Homestead is today the Emily Dickinson Museum) and Virginia Woolf (the iconic lighthouse of her childhood summers and the central image of her great novel, To the Lighthouse). These brilliant women writers mean so many things to me. In publishing, they mean excellence, imagination, wit, bravery, inspiration, magic, fun and sheer beauty. Their spirits guide whatever HLP is and may become.
Homestead Lighthouse Press is a 501 C-3 nonprofit literary publisher that supports good literature, literacy and educational literary programming.
Recently, HLP released its first two books, Secrets of the Trees, a novel by Alissa Lukara and Selected Poems by Dennis Sampson. These inaugural titles contribute to the global good, a standard that will be applied to any future HLP publication.
f you wish to support the work of Homestead Lighthouse Press, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Meanwhile, happy reading!