Sand Paper Press

About the Press

Sand Paper Press is an independent publishing venture based in Key West, Florida, in operation since 2003. With an abiding interest in poetry, the Press is also focused on short fiction, Latin American literature in translation, and history.

Given the illustrious roll call of poets who have passed through Key West, it is fitting that Sand Paper has gravitated toward poetry. 2010 saw the publication of Harry Mathews’ The New Tourism (named a “Book of the Year” by the Times Literary Supplement). In 2011, the Press released The Last Books of Héctor Viel Temperley, a bilingual edition of the late Argentine poet’s Crawl and Hospital Británico, translated into English by poet Stuart Krimko (selected by BOMB Magazine as an “Editor’s Choice”). Belleza y Felicidad: Selected Writings of Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón, also translated by Krimko, was released in February 2015.

In November 2017, Sand Paper issued its first work of nonfiction. Arlo Haskell’s The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, & Revolutionaries (1823-1969) tells the dramatic story of South Florida’s oldest Jewish community. It received the Florida Book Award gold medal for Florida nonfiction.

In February 2020, Sand Paper returned to poetry with Harry Mathews’s Collected Poems: 1946-2016.

Key West has long been a hub of literary endeavor, attracting authors including Elizabeth Bishop, Annie Dillard, James Merrill, Shel Silverstein, Joy Williams, Charlie Smith, Charles Olson, Ann Beattie, and Wallace Stevens. Its unique environment veers from the disarmingly beautiful to the unforgivably tacky; and engenders a combination of concentrated revery and embodied pleasure that sets Key West apart from other literary haunts. This geographical site, distinguished by its distance and difference from the metropolises that dominate the landscape, is treated by the Press as a crucial local asset, a specific point of reference in the physical world, and a philosophical foundation.

Books are designed by David Janik and distributed by Small Press Distribution.