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 and Stephen M. Park, while also releasing a remastered edition of Gerding’s Loser Makes Good.
In 2013, we published poetry collections by Calvero, Brian S. Ellis, Leah Noble Davidson, and Bradley’s second book.
In 2014, we published more poetry collections by John W. Barrios, Tyler Atwood, and Michael N. Thompson.
In 2015, we published second books by Calvero and Ellis, and debut poetry books by Sarah Xerta and Lauren Gilmore, plus Rory Douglas’s memoir about amateur cage fighting, and Joseph Edwin Haeger (creative nonfiction).