Small Press Points: Dottir Press

From the May/June 2020 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Even though millions of books are published each year, many stories remain either silenced or mistold,” says Jennifer Baumgardner, founder of Dottir Press. A journalist and author for more than two decades, Baumgardner established the press in 2017 on the heels of her tenure as executive director of the Feminist Press, where she “discovered she liked the business side of books as much as she liked the writing side.” When Baumgardner saw that a politically charged children’s book she believed in might not find a home, she created Dottir Press to provide one. (That book, Anastasia Higginbotham’s Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, is now a Dottir best-seller.) Located in New York City, the press publishes between six and eight works of fiction and nonfiction a year, including both adult and children’s titles. All are “books by feminists, for everyone,” as Dottir’s slogan declares.

“I believe in creating space for people to tell the truth about what has happened to them and to be vulnerable,” says Baumgardner. Forthcoming titles include transgender activist Cooper Lee Bombardier’s debut, Pass With Care (May 2020), a collection of autobiographical writings that explore masculinity, identity, and the body as systems habitually in flux; and Bett Williams’s memoir The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey (September 2020), which Baumgardner says is “funny and a real challenge to those who might colonize Indigenous knowledge of mushrooms.” The press is open for submissions by e-mail year-round. Baumgardner reads manuscripts with an eye for work that is politically engaged and will change its readers: “I love getting behind a book that truly could influence culture in positive ways.”