Dan WellsUWindsor alumnus Dan Wells will celebrate the 15th anniversary of his publishing house, Biblioasis, Oct. 1.

Public invited to celebrate local press with global reach

As Biblioasis prepares to celebrate its 15th anniversary, founder Dan Wells (BA 1996) credits the University of Windsor as “a big part” of the success the publishing house has enjoyed.

“I don't think I would have been here if it hadn’t been for the professors I had at the University who challenged me to be better, and who opened up a world of literature I would not otherwise have known,” says Wells. “The fact that Dr. Richard Hornsey put Clark Blaise’s Tribal Justice in my hands in a second-year creative writing class and I’m now his publisher still is a bit surreal to me.”

The business has grown from a one-person operation to one of the country’s most lauded literary presses. Among its current achievements is the shortlisting of Lucy Ellmann’s 1,000-page plus novel Ducks, Newburyport for the Booker Prize, and the Giller Prize nominations of the novel Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds, and the short story collection Late Breaking by K.D. Miller.

Its location in Windsor has been a boon to Biblioasis.

Four of its employees, in addition to Wells, are UWindsor alumni — Sharon Hanna (BA 2013, MA 2015), Christina Angeli (BA 2015, MA 2017), Chloe Moore (BA 2019), and Meghan Desjardins (BA 2013) — and its staff includes current students Ashley Van Elswyk, Emma Rock, and Scarlet Kennedy.

“A successful enterprise of any sort takes a community to stand behind it,” Wells says. “Being here in Windsor has allowed us to take chances that we probably wouldn't have been able to take elsewhere.”

The public is invited to mark the anniversary at a reception on Tuesday, Oct. 1. It begins at 7 p.m. at Sho Art, Spirit, & Performance, 628 Monmouth Rd, and will feature readings by Biblioasis authors Taras Grescoe, Pauline Holdstock, Stéphane Larue, Catherine Leroux, and Martha Wilson.