Now in its fifth decade of operation, Penumbra Press is a small, independent publishing house that has its roots in both Northern Canada and the East Coast. Founded in 1979 as an outgrowth of the award-winning fine arts & literary magazine, Northward Journal, A Quarterly of Northern Arts, Penumbra Press continues to publish titles in various genres and disciplines. From children’s and young adult books, to history, poetry, and memoirs, and books on Art and First Nations, our goal has always been to explore traditions in art, culture, and society that are both informative and transformative.
While some of Penumbra's authors may not be household names, they nonetheless have made significant contributions to the range of disciplines they represent through their own in-depth exploration, research, and writing. Their importance is reinforced by the many reprints of backlist titles, as well as by the various publishing awards and citations that have come their way. Quality writing, illustrations, and design have always been hallmarks of Penumbra’s publications as attested by the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award bestowed by the Art Libraries Society of North America.
This year we have branched out by producing a video animation that so far has achieved over a dozen awards and commendations. Accompanied by a song in our 1990 publication, The Songs of Wade Hemsworth, edited by Hugh Verrier, “The Story of the I’m Alone” is seven-minute animation by Allison Wolvers from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Based on the original storyboard illustrated by famed cartoonist Peter Whalley, the animation marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Prohibition in the United States. The I’m Alone, a rum-running schooner out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, was attacked and sunk by the U.S. Coastguard in 1929 outside of treaty waters, triggering an international dispute that took years to resolve.
Until we post more information about our plans for future publications, watch the video’s trailer and let yourself be transported back in time to the rhythm of a good calypso beat.
— John Flood, President