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Affiliated with

The Humble Essayist 

The Humble Essayist Press is a publication platform for books of personal prose written by established authors who are producing a serious body of work over a lifetime. It specializes in books considered too risky commercially for mainstream publishers. Authors submit by invitation only and are chosen based on the quality of the manuscript, the strength of their past publications, and the contributions they have made as teachers, writers, and critics in the genres of personal essay and memoir. Learn more about our mission and books by clicking on the links below.

Such Dancing As We Can

by Sydney Lea

January 15, 2024

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Early on in Sydney Lea’s mother lode of trenchant reflections, Such Dancing As We Canhe speaks of “taking stock toward the end of a lucky life.” He does just that, and admirably well, but what moves me most is his irresistible tendency to take stock of the unlucky lives he has known. His book stands in the place where empathetic imagination and true compassion kiss, where mere sentimentality averts its eyes for shame. What William Carlos Williams once said about poetry could also be said of these essays by one of our finest living poets: “It is difficult to get the news” in these pages, or much news, but people “die miserably everyday for lack of what is found there.”


—Garret Keizer, author of

Getting Schooled and The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want

This Visible Speaking:

Catching Light Through the Camera's Eye

by Kathryn Winograd


Kathy Winograd’s This Visible Speaking is a gorgeous foray into the splendors of her Colorado landscape, particularly the wildlife near and around the South Platte River. The beauty of snowy egrets, young flickers, cormorants, red-tailed hawks and other animals and growth caught in Winograd’s camera-eye become astonishments. An essayist and poet Winograd’s photographs of visual speaking are enriched by her lyrical conversations with the likes of Man Ray, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and writers from Dante to Baudelaire, Poe, and Barthes. Like those artists she converses with, it is the transformative power of the visual, particularly when in dialogue with the textual, that rivets her. Having been gifted a camera during the Covid pandemic Winograd finds herself on a quest “looking for some kind of prayer” in what she describes as “translations of light” – a magic, her camera and poetry have so luminously gifted us.

Adrianne Kalfopoulou,

author of On The Gaze and Ruin

Remembering the Alchemists and Other Essays

by Richard Hoffman

January 15, 2023

The essays in Remembering the Alchemists are wise, ethical, lyrical, and intensely personal. They remain aware of our human fallibility and ability to get each other wrong. In brilliant pieces like “A Kind of Sorcery” or “Wheels,” Hoffman examines the issues of class and race from a white working-class upbringing and reveals far more understanding and unsettling questions than what passes for political thought in this country. This is an essential text.”

— David Mura

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Philip Weinstein

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The personal essay at its very best: reflective, open-minded, insightful, thought-provoking, skeptical, endlessly probing. Philip Weinstein draws on Montaigne’s notion of “soul-error” as the “ineradicable tendency, seeded deep within us, to get things wrong.”

(Robert Atwan, Series Editor,

The Best American Essays)

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Yesterday’s Noise:

A Family Legacy of Rage and Radiance

Essays by Joe Mackall

“I could read Joe Mackall every day, all year long, and this book is a gem.”

Andre Dubus III

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Out of Loneliness:

Murder and Memoir

Mary Woster Haug

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"Out of Loneliness is an engrossing tale of small-town Great Plains uncertainty and murder penned with an intricacy that only a native to the place could manage."

Stephen Wingate, author of The Leave-takers and Of Fathers and Fires

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Put Off My Sackcloth: Essays

by Annie Dawid

Runner up for memoir at the Los Angeles Book Festival and Honorable Mention at the 2021 San Francisco Book Festival

In these essays, Dawid never flinches and when she can laugh, she laughs. She takes us down deep, but she shows us the sparkle of light glinting at the exit of the cave—and love? Love wins.”

Jill Christman


Our First Two Books

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