For Immediate Release
Poet and Fiction Writer Jim Nason Purchases Tightrope Books
(Toronto, September 17, 2014) Tightrope Books, the independent Canadian publisher of poetry, young adult, and adult fiction has been sold to one of its most distinguished authors, Jim Nason. Nason becomes Publisher of Tightrope Books immediately, taking over from Halli Villegas, who inaugurated the upstart press in 2005. Villegas leaves the press to engage with her own writing career. “I look forward to publishing first-rate, innovative books,” Nason states. He believes in accountability and his first task will be to work with a team to establish a literary board for the press and create a mentorship program for students in media studies.
A unique combination of skills and experience prepares Nason to tackle the challenges of running a literary press. As the author of seven books of poetry and fiction, he has travelled the world with his own writing, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to New York’s Bryant Park Best Canadian Poetry event and the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. In addition to being a teacher of creative writing and understanding publishing from the author’s point of view, Nason has a substantial managerial background, including fifteen-plus years in a senior management position for one of Ontario’s largest non-profit social services agencies.
Nason has earned degrees from Ryerson, York and McGill University where his focus was on William Blake. His Master’s Thesis, ‘Marching Camp, Code and Community,’ was presented at the University of Toronto’s Queer Sites conference in the nineties. He understands the importance of community and the power of literature to transform individuals and to change the world. As part of the Authors Care reading series in the nineties, he participated in some of the first HIV/AIDS literary fundraisers.
Nason’s vision for Tightrope includes building on the strengths of its acclaimed authors and publications such as Best Canadian Essays and Best Canadian Poetry. Christopher Doda has committed to staying on as Best Canadian Essays series editor and Molly Peacock will remain as Best Canadian Poetry series editor. Along with an annual guest editor, Peacock will be joined by poet and journalist Anita Lahey as co-editor of the series. Nason will not make staffing changes at this time. Heather Wood will continue as Managing Editor and Deanna Janovski will continue as Editor/Production Manager.
Nason is keen to channel creative energy, time and passion into Tightrope Books. “Canadian writers are among the best in the world,” he states. His goal is to encourage submissions from outstanding authors and to publish books of the highest quality: “books that writers will be proud of and readers will want to own.”