About the Press

PERUGIA PRESS was founded in 1997 by Susan Kan, who has been reading poetry since she could read Dr. Seuss. Her taste has matured since then, and she earned an MFA in creative writing from the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers. When she met talented poets who were struggling to get their work published, she decided to start Perugia Press. She loves the compression of the poem, the skillful use of metaphor, and the flexibility and playfulness of words.

From the time Susan took Gail Thomas' beautiful poems about loss and survivorship and made them into Finding the Bear, she's been hooked by making books.

After six years of publishing one book a year selected from a relatively small call for manuscripts, Perugia Press launched a national competition for first or second books of poetry by women. Now named the Perugia Press Prize, the popular, annual contest is creating a buzz - largely because of its specific and singular scope.

And why do we publish only women? Check out these statistics:

  • Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: 68% male winners, 32% female winners
  • Nobel Prize in Literature: 87% male winners, 13% female winners
  • National Book Critics Circle Award: 62% male winners, 38% female winners
  • PEN/Faulkner Award: 86% male winners, 14% female winners
  • Booker Prize: 69% male winners, 31% female winners


Some people believe the reason for such discrepancies between men and women is that men are simply writing better books than women. At Perugia Press, we are convinced otherwise and are doing our part to tip the scales into balance.

We produce beautiful books, lovely to hold, to look at, as well as to read. Our goal is to reach as large an audience as possible, selecting poetry that is welcoming to new readers as well as interesting to longtime readers. As of 2006, Perugia Press is a nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption.

Thank you for your interest in Perugia Press.