Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Profile of Coach House Books

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Profile of Coach House Books

In its 43 years of operation, Coach House Books has become and remained a hub of cultural and technological activity and a bastion of innovative literature in Canada. From its early days of printing draft-dodger pamphlets and commemorative flags to nurturing the literary careers of Ondaatje, Bowering, Anne Michaels and bpNichol, to being the birthplace of current electronic publishing technology, Coach House has been the headquarters and meeting place for creative figures of every stripe. Located near the university campus, Coach House was intimately involved with Rochdale College, the university’s first co-op residence and free university.

In recent times, Coach House Books has garnered a reputation as a publisher of great Canadian fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction titles (especially titles about Toronto). Among its most notable recent publications are the Griffin Prize winner Eunoia, by Christian Bök, and the wildly popular Big Smoke anthology uTOpia: Towards a New Toronto.

Coach House books have been the recipients of dozens of awards and nominations, including the Governor General's Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Toronto Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Lambda Book Award, the Books in Canada/ First Writers Prize and the Trillium Prize. Earlier this year, Coach House Books won the prestigious Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, in the category of arts organization.

Watch a video made about Coach House Books by the Premier's Award for Excellence:

Some Coach House Fun Facts:

  • Coach House Books are printed on-site. The first floor houses two printing presses and a bindery. Coach House Press (Coach House Books' sister company) prints books for many presses and individuals in addition to Coach House Books.
  • Coach House houses a 1917 Linotype (the first machine to mechanize typesetting).
  • The in-house paper stock is called Zephyr Antique Laid, a paper specially milled for Coach House and one other press.
  • Coach House still has a milkman.
  • A portion of Roy Kiyooka's cremated remains reside in a jewel box in a shelf in the Coach House coffee room.
  • Coach House Books and Printing are located at 401 Huron Street (on bpNichol Lane). The laneway, named after influential Canadian writer bpNichol (1944-1988), also features a short poem of Nichol’s engraved into the ground: ‘A/LAKE/A/LANE/A/LINE/A/LONE.’
  • Coach House regularly participates in Toronto's Doors Open event.
  • Coach House's roof is outfitted with solar panels. You can see the solar energy Coach House generates at a dedicated SolarVu site.

Coach House Books will unveil its Fall 2008 titles this October with a massive group launch at Stones Place (1255 Queen Street West). The event will unveil new books from Mike Hoolboom, Michael Blouin, Margaret Christakos, Jeramy Dodds and Kyle Buckley. Join the Coach House mailing list or their popular Facebook group to keep updated on all things Coach House.

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