By Eric Delehoy, Founding Editor
Gertrude Press began as a small literary journal. Gertrude: A Journal of Voice and Vision was founded in 1998. The bi-annual literary journal was created to address a dearth of literary publishing opportunities for queer writers and artists. The publication became one of the only queer journals to feature all genders and identities in the same issue. A small, but dedicated editorial board was formed in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the premier issue appeared in Spring 1999, a 36-page, black and white, saddle-stitched journal showcasing eight writers and three artists. In Fall 2001 the first perfect-bound issue was published.
Gertrude: A Journal of Voice and Vision continued to grow, producing two issues a year until 2002 when it relocated to Portland, Oregon. Following a two-year hiatus, the journal re-emerged in response to Oregon’s passing of Measure 36, an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative. Because the journal’s main objective was to promote tolerance and understanding of queer individuals, it seemed the perfect call to resurrection.
Gertrude Press was incorporated in 2006 in an effort to continue to publish Gertrude: A Journal of Voice and Vision (then renamed Gertrude) and to offer a wider range of publication possibilities including fiction and poetry chapbooks. The first chapbooks were published in 2006, with two chapbooks published annually (one in each genre). A greater focus was placed on visual art appearing in the journal and the decision was made to include a critical art essay and to print our covers in color.
As of 2012, Gertrude Press has celebrated over a decade of publishing emerging and established writers and artists from over thirty states and ten nations. It has published over 330 queer and allied writers and artists. Gertrude now holds the distinction of being the longest consecutively published queer journal that is still in print. The press takes its responsibility seriously and has received positive feedback from writers, artists, and readers. In some cases, Gertrude has provided a rare link to queer community and culture to persons in isolated rural areas. Gertrude has also been required reading in college classrooms. In addition, it has served as a catalyst to writers who have since published books, received literary awards, and even obtained tenure. In Spring 2009, Gertrude Press acheived non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization.
The success of Gertrude Press can be attributed to the many writers and artists showcased in the journals and chapbooks as well as the community that supports them. Special thanks go to the current Board of Directors and to the past Editorial Board and Board of Directors members who dedicated time and creativity: Ronda Stone, Lynn Kaiser, Charlie King, Drew Cory, April Pergl, James Farmer, Pat Weisberg, Katherine Moore, Meredith Butner, Megan McConnell, Kathryn Williams, and Erin Malus.