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Salmon Publishing, Ltd. records

Identifier: MSS 0438

Scope and Contents

The Archives of Salmon Publishing covers the activity of Salmon Publishing Ltd. Of Clare, Ireland, from its inception in 1982 through 1997. Founded and directed by the American-Irish poet, Jessie Lendennie, Salmon Publishing is noted particularly for its promotion of the work of new women poets. Salmon Publishing began in 1982 with The Salmon, a literary quarterly dedicated to providing a forum for new poets outside of Dublin. In 1984, Salmon began to publish books by these same poets. When The Salmon ceased publication in 1992, the book publishing operation continued, and it is with book publishing that the bulk of the material in the Salmon Archives is concerned. The collection is divided into a series of Publishing Files and a series of Administrative Files.

The Publishing Series consists of files related to the publication of individual books. These files vary greatly in completeness. Typical contents include correspondence between author and publisher, publicity materials related to the promotion of the book, and reviews from Irish and other newspapers and journals. Many files also include manuscripts and copies of corrected proofs. At their most complete these files document the entire publication history of particular works from the initial contacts between author and publisher through negotiations over contract terms and related matters, the editing and revision of texts leading to publication, and the promotion and initial reception of the work.

Noteworthy among the Publication files are those related to the Irish publication of Adrienne Rich’s Selected Poems by Salmon. These files include an extensive correspondence between Rich and Salmon publisher, Jessie Lendennie, as well as correspondence between Salmon and W.W. Norton, Rich’s American and U.K. publishers, regarding the terms of publication. Rich’s corrected proofs are also included in these files. Joan McBreen’s The White Page/An Bhileog Bhán (1999) is a major anthology of Irish women poets. Files in the collection include McBreen’s master’s thesis, which became the basis for the book, correspondence with many of the poets included in the anthology, and corrected proofs. The Salmon Archives includes publication files for books by Irish poets including Rita Ann Higgins, Theo Dorgan, Moya Cannon, Mary O'Donnell, Eamonn Wall, Mary O’Malley, Eva Bourke, Janice Fitzpatrick-Simmons, and Gerard Donovan. The American poets Marvin Bell and Richard Tillinghast are among the non-Irish poets represented in the Salmon Archive. The collection includes files related to Lendennie’s books The Salmon Guide to Poetry Publishing in Ireland and The Salmon Guide to Creative Writing in Ireland. Files in the Publication series are arranged by author name and title of the individual book.

The Administrative Series includes general correspondence and correspondence with Irish funding agencies (the Arts Council, the Galway Corporation) and trade and professional organizations (CLE, Poolbeg, Poetry Ireland). Other files relate to Auburn House, an imprint of Salmon Publishing specializing in “new age” books on health and spirituality, and to The Salmon, the literary quarterly published by Salmon from 1982-1992. Additional files contain information on literary competitions and festivals, and on educational programs and trade fairs, mostly in Ireland. Files of poets’ photographs and book covers complete the Administrative Series.


  • Creation: 1982-2000


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Historical Note

Salmon Publishing, Ltd. of Clare, Ireland, is a leading Irish and international publisher of poetry collections, particularly noted for its publication of women and new poets. Founded by the American-Irish poet Jessie Lendennie and her husband, Mike Allen, Salmon had its origins in the galway Writers Workshop associated with University College, galway. In 1982, Lendennie and Allen, both members of the Workshop, began publication of The Salmon International Literary Journal, a quarterly dedicated to “providing a forum for voices which were not being represented by the dominant literary outlets in Dublin.” The Salmonceased publication in 1991. Salmon began its book publishing activities in 1984 with collections by Eva Bourke and Rita Ann Higgins. Lendennie and Allen separated in 1987 and Lendennie remained as Managing Director of Salmon. In 1994, Salmon Publishing moved from Galway to Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland. In addition to book publishing, Salmon Publishing runs regular Creative Writing Workshops and a bookstore.

Salmon has produced over 150 volumes of poetry. Many established Irish poets published their initial collections with Salmon, including Rita Ann Higgins, Eva Bourke, Theo Dorgan, and Moya Cannon. In addition, Salmon has “published a range of international poets including Adrienne Rich, Marvin Bell, Richard Tillinghast, Carol Ann Duffy, R. T. Smith, Linda McCarriston, Ron Houchin, and Ben Howard.” Although Salmon has never been exclusively a “women’s press,” it has been instrumental in discovering, publishing, and promoting the work of a significant number of Irish women poets including the 1999 anthology edited by Joan McBreen, The White Page/An Bhileog Bhán: 20th Century Irish Women Poets.


Salmon Poetry, Ireland. (undated). (accessed March 22, 2002).

Wilson, Joyce. “Poetry Out of the Whirlwind.” Poetry Porch, 2001. (accessed March 22, 2002).

Additional information derived from the collection.


11 linear foot (13 boxes)

Metadata Rights Declarations


The records of Salmon Publishing cover the activity of Salmon Publishing Ltd. of Clare, Ireland, from its inception in 1982 through 1997. Founded and directed by the American-Irish poet, Jessie Lendennie, Salmon Publishing is noted particularly for its promotion of the work of new women poets.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, June 1998

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 0438s, Salmon Poetry Ltd. records supplement

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-10: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons

Boxes 11-13: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes

Processing Information

Processed by Kevin Burke, March 2002. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, July 2021.

Finding aid for Salmon Publishing, Ltd. records
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2021 July 19
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA