University of Hell Press promotes artists who are creating irreverent and thought-provoking works in quiet corners of their worlds. Specializing in intimate literary arts that communicate the human experience with raw views into the everyday condition, University of Hell Press aligns with like-minded individuals who are making their mark through unique vision and simple, yet heightened, language.
Launched by Greg Gerding, the press had its beginnings, quite literally, in Hell. In 1994, a weekly series – Poetry in Hell – began in a Washington, D.C. bar called Hell. For several years, the series showcased writing, music, and performance art. The spirit of Hell then moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and quickly became a major fixture in the poetry scene. A weekly prose column written by Gerding called University of Hell was published by The Weekly San Diego from 1999 to 2000.
In 2005, Gerding conceived University of Hell Press as a self-publishing brand and launched his first title The Burning Album of Lame. Four more self-published titles followed: Venue Voyeurisms (2007), Loser Makes Good (2008), Piss Artist (2010), and The Idiot Parade (2011).
University of Hell Press moved operations from San Diego to Portland, Oregon in 2008, and continues to have a strong presence in both cities, while ferreting out unique artists everywhere.
In 2012, University of Hell Press was officially born when it published Eirean Bradley’s the I in team and quickly followed with books by Lindsey Kugler, Johnny No Bueno, and Stephen M. Park, while also releasing a remastered edition of Loser Makes Good. In 2013, we published books by Calvero, Brian S. Ellis, Leah Noble Davidson, and Bradley’s second book. In 2014, we published books by John W. Barrios, Tyler Atwood, and Michael N. Thompson. In 2015, we published second books by Calvero and Ellis, and debut books by Sarah Xerta, Lauren Gilmore, Rory Douglas, and Joseph Edwin Haeger. In 2016, we published a second book by Davidson, and debut books by Michael McLaughlin, A.M. O’Malley, and our first novel by Christine Rice. In 2017, we published our first anthology (edited by Cam Awkward-Rich and Sam Sax) and a flip book twofer by Rob Gray, followed by Wryly T. McCutchen’s first book and a second title from Stephen M. Park.
So far in 2018, we published books by Suzanne Burns, Nikia Chaney, and an explosive collection of erasures by Isobel O’Hare (our first hardcover book). We also published a war memoir by Jason Arment released on 9/11.