In House: Black Moss Press

Based in Windsor, Ontario, Black Moss Press has a national and international reputation for their contributions to Canadian literature. They aim to promote literature and fine arts in their region, in Canada as a whole, and in the nearby United States. During their almost-fifty year history, they’ve released more than 400 books.

Current publisher Marty Gervais founded the press in 1969 as Bandit/Black Moss Press, releasing chapbooks and a magazine that published the likes of Charles Bukowski, Margaret Atwood, Milton Acorn, Al Purdy, George Bowering, Diane Di Prima, and Dennis Lee. They’ve gone on to publish a long, storied list of Canadian literary heavyweights. Their promotions take all kinds of shapes: from traditional readings and book launches to boxing rings, factory floors, hockey arenas and street corners.

The Globe & Mail ran author and industry memories coinciding with Black Moss’s 40th Anniversary, where reminisces included Al Purdy calling Gervais “the nicest publisher in Canada” and Alistair MacLeod had to say:

“It is not too far-fetched to think of Marty Gervais as the father of Black Moss...And then, suddenly, the child is 40 years old. It is sometimes something of a shock to realize that if the child is 40, as many years must also have passed in the life of the man who gave the child life. Such a father, at such a stage, may only hope that he did the right thing. In the case of Marty Gervais there is no need to worry.”

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