About House of Anansi Press

House of Anansi Press was founded in 1967 by writers Dennis Lee and David Godfrey to publish work by Canadian writers.

Anansi owes its name to the West-African spider god Kwaku Anansi, one of the world’s greatest folk heroes. Godfrey, who taught in Ghana in his twenties, admired the wise but mischievous prankster who created the world. The two named their publishing venture House of Anansi Press, both as a nod to the small-but-mighty spider god, and a poke at a certain other publishing “House.”

Staying true to the spirt of Anansi, their international, boundary-pushing namesake, the House got its start publishing authors such as Matt Cohen, Michael Ondaatje, Northrop Frye, Austin Clarke, Harold Sonny Ladoo, Daphne Marlatt, Roch Carrier, and Margaret Atwood (who also worked for the press as an editor).

Now under the ownership of Scott Griffin, House of Anansi Press is Canada’s leading independent publisher. We continue to break new ground with award-winning and bestselling books that reflect the changing nature of the country and the world, and we help shape the national conversation with the publication of the annual CBC Massey Lectures (in conjunction with University of Toronto’s Massey College and CBC Ideas) with contributors like Martin Luther King, Jr., Tanya Talaga, Esi Edugyan, and Tomson Highway. Anansi continues to publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, French-Canadian writers in translation, lifestyle, and authors from around the world. We take pride in finding and developing talent, publishing Indigenous, Black, and other deserving writers, and firing up the imagination with Very Good Books.

House of Anansi Press respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we operate is the Traditional Territory of many Nations, including the Anishinabeg, the Wendat and the Haudenosaunee. It is also the Treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

We gratefully acknowledge for their financial support of our publishing program the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Creates and the Government of Canada.

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