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CavanKerry Press LTD.
CavanKerry Press

Praise for CKP

From the community

“Students speak of Joan (for they address her so) as 'inspiring,' 'amazing,' and 'a real role model.' Their own writing is freed up by Joan’s amazing technical and personal risks. They are amazed with the service the press provides in bringing poetry into the community, especially to those most at risk for failure and despair. I modeled our new Advanced Writing Poetry Seminar on CavanKerry’s model to include community outreach to hospitals, hospices, prisons, rape crisis centers, and senior care homes. CavanKerry does for community what poetry was always meant to do—speak from and for our common humanity, inspire mutual respect and understanding, and delight the soul. Millard Fuller wrote 'For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people's love and concern for each other.' CavanKerry makes it happen."

—Susanna Rich, Ph. D. Poet, Professor, Kean University

“CavanKerry’s deep commitment to fine literature is only matched by its mission to make poetry accessible to a broad community of readers – and to influence humanistic patient care. In our work with them, they have developed learning experiences for medical students and residents, emphasizing and reinforcing the values of compassion, respect, service and self-reflection so essential for the “complete” doctor. In the midst of exploding technical and scientific knowledge, CavanKerry’s authors and books remind medical students and residents that the human touch is a vital part of doctoring.”

—Barbara Packer, COO, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism-in-Medicine


From writers

“I need to take pen in hand--e-mail will not do--to tell you how happy I am with the truly beautiful book CKP has made of my manuscipt. Greg Smith's design, Dawn Potter's expert copy-editing, the paper--the entire presentation--honors my work and my life as a poet, in a way nothing else ever has.”

— Gray Jacobik, CKP author


"CavanKerry Press is a gift to the life of poetry in America. For over ten years, this New Jersey-based non-profit press has been publishing exciting, prize-winning, beautifully printed and humanly vital books by well-known and emerging poets, and reaching out to the community with its gifts to hospitals and other organizations. 'To have great poets there must be great audiences too,' Walt Whitman wrote. Well, to have great audiences we need great presses. Dear CavanKerry: Walt Whitman would be proud of you."

—Alicia Ostriker


“My life as a writer has been enormously enriched by CavanKerry Press. The staff is professional, available, and uniquely caring. Because of this I have been happy to participate in their many meaningful and educational outreach programs, particularly for needy persons, including the disabled and imprisoned. CavanKerry has helped me promote my book in a variety of ways and has enlarged my scope as a voice of communication."

—Sondra Gash, CKP author


"I have known and admired CavanKerry Press since its birth and have enjoyed witnessing its growth these past nine years. In my mind, it has earned its place among the finest independent literary presses publishing today. What stands out for me, in addition to the beauty of its books, is its dedication to: first, showcasing new and unpublished writers alongside notable, yet offer under-recognize ones and second, to its community programs which continue to broaden the reach of poetry. I hope you will join me in supporting this fine press."

—Toi Derricotte


“For a grassroots organization to produce such robust, aesthetically beautiful books of meaningful, quality literature while concurrently successfully taking on a crucial role in the community, and inculcating a sense of communal responsibility in its authors (ultimately its ambassadors), is indeed commendable. We are collectively—as writers, as readers, or simply as citizens preoccupied with our daily struggles—touched and enriched by the presence of such a model American enterprise."

—Bhisham Bherwani, CKP author


"I don't know any other press of comparable size that labors in the vineyard of words as enthusiastically as CKP. But it cannot do it all by itself. It needs to carry on. Please help!"

—Maxine Kumin


From the board

"In a word it can be called generosity, but it is more than the willingness to give that marks CavanKerry Press. Its broad vision aims to not only restore the vital place of poetry inside community but to enlarge that place. The diverse list of poets on the roster of CavanKerry brings distinctive voices to print, and the projects of the press are helping to bring the voices and lives of these poets to the everyday fabric of the public. We are reminded in our time of the constantly shifting faces of reality. The world is made both simpler and more complex by our technology, but it is still the poet's lace in language and culture that gives him or her the chance to remind us of what constitutes the human in these shifting changes. CavanKerry maintains a commitment to the vital place of the poet in reminding us of what is important, that which Gwendolyn Brooks called 'life distilled.' The gift of CavanKerry is invaluable and its presence is genuinely worthy of support."

—Afaa Michael Weaver, Member of CKP Board of Directors

“Commercial publishers aren’t enough; their eye is on profit in the moment. But small presses are here for the long haul; they publish the work they love, the poems that matter, and they keep doing that work against all the odds….CavanKerry Press is one of those champions of literature that’s keeping the art of writing alive."

—Mark Doty, Poet, New York, New York, Professor of Creative Writing
Former member of the CKP Board of Directors


“As someone who has written extensively about cancer, I particularly admire CavanKerry's willingness to take on what some might think an unpopular subject, the literature of illness.  When I first read Life with Sam, I was deeply moved by its poems and photographs.  This is the book that gave me the courage to write my own book about my mother's death, The Golden Hour, and inspired me to give readings at Hospice organizations up and down the East Coast.” 

—Sue Ellen Thompson, Poet, Professor of Creative Writing, Baltimore, Maryland
CKP Advisory Board