For Immediate Release
Contact: Nicole Dewey, Managing Director
Shreve Williams PR [email protected] / 929-213-1172
October 2, 2018 (New York, NY) – Veteran literary nonprofit executive Mary Gannon is joining the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) as Executive Director, effective November 5, it was announced today by Co-Board Chairs Nicole Dewey and Gerald Howard.
Founded in 1967 by George Plimpton, Russell Banks and others with help from the National Endowment for the Arts, CLMP provides direct technical assistance to independent literary book and magazine publishers, advocates on their behalf, and produces programs designed to bring the many communities our work touches together: readers, writers, literary translators, booksellers, educators and librarians. Through its mission, CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping small literary publishers work better. CLMP exists to serve magazines, presses, Internet publishers, and chapbook and zine publishers mission-driven to publish literature. Independent literary publishers make up an underserved and essential field that connects the greatest diversity of writers to equally diverse communities of readers. For 50+ years, CLMP has been a sustaining lifeline—raising publishers’ organizational capacity, helping them connect their writers to more readers, and serving as a dependable, essential hub for nurturing community support.
Since 2013, Mary Gannon has been the Associate Director and Director of Content for the Academy of American Poets, where, among many other things, she helped lead an organizational rebranding and a relaunch of the popular website Poets.org, which was awarded in 2017 a Best Website for Teaching & Learning by the American Association of School Librarians. Prior to that, she was the Editorial Director of Poets & Writers, the country’s largest nonprofit organization serving poets and writers of literary prose.
An award-winning poet, Gannon has published poems in literary magazines, such as 32 Poems, The Antioch Review, The Paris Review, Passages North, Washington Square, and SHADE, among others. She served as poetry editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and South Ash Press. She has published numerous articles about publishing and the literary field and has profiled writers such as New Yorker editor David Remnick, fiction writers Jay McInerney and Heidi Julavits, and poets Anne Carson and Major Jackson, and her book reviews have been published widely. With her husband, Poets & Writers Magazine Editor in Chief Kevin Larimer, she is writing The Poets & Writers Guide to the Writing Life, to be published by Simon & Schuster.
The CLMP board said, “For the past 17 years, this organization has been in the expert care of Jeffrey Lependorf, the literary world’s energizer bunny. Thanks in part to his leadership and assistance, the diverse and essential publishers he has served have never been more active, thriving, and necessary. Because of his work, more voices have been heard. We are indebted to him for his enormous contributions to the literary world and to Democracy.
The moment we met Mary Gannon, we knew she was the person to build on Jeffrey’s legacy. Having spent her career in service to the literary world, she understands the needs of all the stakeholders in our community and is expert at finding creative solutions to the unique challenges literary publishers face in amplifying the wide range of voices they publish. CLMP and the entire literary ecosystem are very lucky to have her.”
Lependorf remarked, “Leaving CLMP as I enter my 18th year, I understand how parents must feel sending their offspring to college, but it’s with both pride in what’s been accomplished during my time here and with genuine excitement that I hand the torch to Mary Gannon—it couldn’t go into more able hands and I’m thrilled contemplating where Mary will take CLMP in the future.”
Gannon said, “Jeffrey Lependorf has been a tireless and dedicated champion of literary publishers for the past two decades, building CLMP into the vibrant organization it is today. I look forward to carrying on his hard work serving this community, which is the foundation for the literary arts in our country and beyond.”
Jeffrey Lependorf, CLMP’s outgoing Executive Director, masterfully led the organization for nearly two decades. He is also the Executive Director for Small Press Distribution and will continue in that roll. In his new role serving as Executive Director of The Flow Chart Foundation, Lependorf will be working to maintain and promote the legacy of late American poet John Ashbery and “exploring the interrelationships of various art forms.”
Originally founded as the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines in 1967, CLMP—known today as the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses—exists to serve small publishers mission-driven to publish literature. CLMP’s membership of more than 500 organizations incorporates a wide diversity of publishers: those with budgets of less than $5,000 to those of more than $1 million dollars; publishers working in large cities, rural areas, and every place in between; and representing an astounding array of aesthetic and editorial literary missions. CLMP has informed funders and other arts groups about literary publishing’s role in American culture, conducted research about the field, and ensured that literature has an active voice in the politics of cultural policy. CLMP works to ensure that all literary voices can make their way to readers based on their potential for shaping Literature and our culture rather than their potential to turn a profit.