Thistledown Press, Saskatchewan’s longest-running literary publisher, has been acquired by JoAnn McCaig, CEO of Shelf Life Books and owner of Free Hand Books, in an independent sale from Al Forrie, one of Thistledown’s founding members. Saskatoon poet and editor Elizabeth Philips has been hired as Thistledown’s Managing Editor. Established in 1975 by Saskatoon poet Glen Sorestad and teacher and artist Neil Wagner to produce the work of talented young writers from Western Canada, Thistledown Press originally focused only on poetry. Al Forrie and Paddy O’Rourke joined the publishing house in 1980, and helped to build Thistledown Press as one of Canada’s premiere literary publishers.
SaskBooks would like to thank all of the past and present Thistledown Press shareholders and staff, for their vision, commitment, and immense contribution to the Saskatchewan publishing community. Giving a voice to prairie and western Canadian writers is no small feat, and Thistledown Press has been doing it well for more than 45 years. We would also like to congratulate Joann McCaig and Elizabeth Philips on their new positions, and eagerly look forward to working with them. Thistledown Press has been a member of SaskBooks since SaskBooks’ incorporation as the provincial creative industry association for Saskatchewan book publishers in 1989, and we are excited to continue supporting Thistledown as they produce high quality Saskatchewan books in the years to come.