Our Mission: Hiraeth Press has been publishing since 2006 with a focus on environmental literature. We primarily publish nonfiction books exploring themes of conservation, rewilding, place-based narratives, natural history, and contemplative ecology. Our titles range from meditations on nature to well-researched yet accessible nonfiction titles. Broadly, we are interested in books that bring together science and poetry, bridging the gap between knowing the earth and knowing the self.
Poetry is the language of the earth. In this, we include not only written poems but the slow flap of a heron’s wings across the sky and the lightning of its beak hunting in the shallow water, autumn leaves, and the smooth course of water over stones and gravel. This earth-poetry communicates the being and meaning of things. We strive in all we do to produce works that are as evocative and poetic as the wild.
What’s in a Name? The Welsh word hiraeth (pronounced here-eyeth), which directly translated means “longing” encapsulates the deeper pathos behind our company mission. Hiraeth is used in Welsh poetry and culture to connote an intense longing for one’s homeland or loved ones, and includes a sense of exile, loss, and displacement. Hiraeth is, in essence, the yearning to belong.
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Here at Hiraeth Press, we aim to engender this sort of intense longing in our readers, in order to motivate, inspire, and embolden a sense of ecological responsibility, passion, and meaning. We believe that this longing for home is a fundamental part of human experience and that our true homes are the still-wild places of the earth. We are passionate about poetry as a means of returning the human voice to the chorus of the wild.
Environmental Stewardship: At Hiraeth Press, we want to walk our talk. We want our books to not only educate and inspire but also to have lasting impact on both public awareness and conservation efforts. Each year we choose a nonprofit working on environmental issues to donate 1% of our annual profits to. Additionally, we often partner with organizations on individual books and donate $2 from each sale to support their mission. In 2013 our Feed the Bears! auction raised over a $1000 for the Wildlife Center of Virginia to provide food for bear cubs in the center’s care.
Finally, we further “walk our talk” by producing books in an environmentally sustainable way. All of our titles are printed by Lightning Source, Inc., the leading industry provider of Print on Demand books. This means that unlike traditional publishers, we do not print thousands of book copies in advance. Every book printed goes directly into the hands of a reader. This saves paper. Furthermore, all our books are printed on paper with chain of custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. This ensures that in every step of the process–from the tree to printing press to the reader’s hands–our books do not contribute to deforestation. We also recognize that these certifications are imperfect at best and, wherever possible, better and more responsible choices will always be made. We want to be at the forefront of dialogue about what an ecologically-sustainable publishing industry will look like in future.
About the Publishers
Jason Kirkey is an author, poet, and the founder of Hiraeth Press. He grew up in the Ipswich River-North Atlantic Coast watershed of Massachusetts. Inspired by the landscapes in which he has lived—the temperate forests and old mountains of New England and the Eastern Piedmont, the red rocks and high desert of Colorado, Irish hills and sea—his work is permeated with an ecological sensibility. Whether poetry or prose, Jason’s words strive towards consonance with the ecosystem. He has written four volumes of poetry, including Estuaries and a nonfiction book, The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality. Jason is now working on his second nonfiction book and a graduate degree in conservation ecology. He now lives near Boston.
L.M. Browning grew up in a small fishing village in Connecticut. A longtime student of philosophy, nature and art, these themes permeate her work. In 2010, she wrote a three-title contemplative poetry series that went on to garner several accolades including a total of 3 pushcart-prize nominations and the Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013. Balancing her passion for writing with her love of education and publishing, Browning is a graduate of the University of London and a Fellow with the League of Conservation Writers. She is Founder of Homebound Publications—a rising independent publishing house based in New England. Her title, Fleeting Moments of Fierce Clarity, was named a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book. She is currently working towards her next degree at Harvard University’s Extension School in Cambridge, MA. To learn more go to www.lmbrowning.com
Hailing from the North Carolina Piedmont, Jennifer MacCormack spent four years in North Wales, UK, where she studied Welsh language and medieval literature. During that time, she discovered how language and myth are entangled with places; to understand the deeper meaning of stories is to know the seasons, ecology, and inhabitants (both domesticated and wild) of those stories’ places and histories. Currently, Jennifer is a Psychology PhD student at the University of North Carolina, researching how bodily awareness and conceptual knowledge about the body contribute to emotion experience, health, and aging. She also serves as associate editor for Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics and is on the Advisory Board for Homebound Publications.