Small Press Points: Damaged Goods Press

From the January/February 2022 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

The two-person editorial team behind Damaged Goods Press operates with a clear sense of purpose: “We are doing this out of love and admiration for queer and trans peoples’ resilience in a world filled with bigotry and violence,” says Caseyrenée Lopez, the founding editor and publisher, who runs the press alongside prose editor Willy Miller. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Damaged Goods has published poetry and lyrical nonfiction by queer and trans writers since 2015.

While Lopez has seen the literary landscape become more inclusive with time, they note there are still few publishers that are exclusively dedicated to queer and trans voices. Damaged Goods Press offers a particularly liberated platform for these writers: “We like weird,” says Lopez. “If it’s complex and nonlinear, that’s even better.” They hope that Damaged Goods titles will challenge readers’ understanding of “personhood, the self, and of what literature is and can be.” Lopez cites the press’s most recent chapbook, disseueraunce by Tamsin Blaxter—“a story of love gone awry”—as well as When the Mo(n)ths (Dis)Appeared by Lydja Uta Szatkowska and void of pronouns by m/ryan murphy, as among the “offbeat books” that reflect the Damaged Goods ethos. The press aims to publish one or two chapbooks, full-length books, or anthologies each year, and the editors are currently considering submissions for publication in 2022. “If you are writing in a way that seems like it’s not represented in publishing, send it our way,” says Lopez. “I want to see math equations and foreign languages or created languages and new forms.” Damaged Goods Press accepts submissions via e-mail from October to February and does not charge a reading fee.