Sono Nis Press

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Sono Nis Press

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Sono Nis Press was founded in 1968 by J. Michael Yates when he was associated with the department of creative writing at the University of British Columbia. The name, Sono Nis, is taken from a character in the first book published by the press, Man in the Glass Octopus (1968) written by Yates. "Sono" in modern Italian means "I am"; "nis" in Anglo-Saxon means "is not". Under Yates, the Press operated steadily as a literary house specializing in poetry and fiction in several locations within British Columbia including Vancouver, Surrey, Port Clements in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Mission, and Delta. Emphasizing the publication of poetry and avant garde fiction, the Press issued titles by a diverse group of writers. The books were almost exclusively designed and printed in Victoria, British Columbia, by Morriss Printing. In 1976, Morriss bought out Sono Nis and relocated the Press to Victoria. Morriss appointed Robin Skelton--poet, professor and founder of the Malahat Review--as managing editor. Theatre and poetry scholar Ann Saddlemyer was also a long standing editor at the publishing house. Sono Nis broadened its publication list to include regional histories, literary criticism, guide books, books of general interest, and journals and biographies, as well as its literary books. The Sono Nis backlist was promoted and distributed and the publishing programme was extended to up to twelve titles per year. Patricia Sloan became the managing editor of Sono Nis in 1989.

Richard Morriss's daughter, Diane Morriss, took over the company in 1994 after her father's death. In 2002, Diane Morriss and her husband, graphic designer Jim Brennan, moved Sono Nis from Victoria to Winlaw, British Columbia. Sono Nis Press has been awarded the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, Eaton's Book Prize, BC Book Prizes, Governor General Awards, Lieutenant Governor's Medal for History, CAA Award, and the BC History Prize.


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