Greg Gerding - Publisher at University of Hell
Photo Credit: Dean Davis

Episode 38: Greg Gerding — Author and Publisher at University of Hell

Welcome to the University of Hell, with your professor (publisher) Greg Gerding!

What do you do if you’ve got 30 notebooks full of your writing and no one to publish them? If you’re University of Hell Press founder Greg Gerding, you do it yourself and create a self-publishing empire. The author of seven published books of prose and poetry, Greg’s initial spark for the press came from a weekly reading series he’d hosted at a bar in Washington, D.C., aptly called Hell. After moving to San Diego, he was inspired by the city’s local music scene’s DIY ethos and began calling on his friends to design covers, among other things. Finding himself in Portland a few years later and virtually swimming in literary goings-on, Greg expanded the press and at this point, publishes a combination of solicited and unsolicited material, and spends most of his time trying to convince other folks to start their own self-publishing empires. His birthday buddies include Stephen Baldwin (boo) and Tony Hawk (yay)!

“Hopefully if you’re a writer, you’re constantly reading as well, and you’re being exposed to all these products, and you’re probably drawn to a certain kind of aesthetic. So then start deconstructing that aesthetic and figure out what you would like to see in the final product of your work, and how you can make that happen.”

Greg Gerding is a noted underground writer and publisher. He runs University of Hell Press, an indie book publishing imprint, and is the Editor-in-Chief of leading opinions and editorials website The Big Smoke America.

Greg graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in English Language and Literature, and then hit the streets to continue his education as a scholar and scrivener of the real world. He has had seven books published: five books of prose poetry (Poetry in Hell, The Burning Album of Lame, Loser Makes Good, Piss Artist, and The Idiot Parade), a collection of short stories (Venue Voyeurisms), and his most recent book, I’ll Show You Mine, an oral history on the subject of intimacy, was published by The Sager Group in 2013.

Greg founded the University of Hell Press in 2005 as a self-publishing brand and then expanded it to publishing others beginning in 2012, launching a platform for unconventional artistry. He started The Big Smoke America in late 2015 and has published over 1,700 articles and essays since. He has collaborated on projects with musicians and visual artists, and is well known for organizing readings on both coasts. Greg was born in Kentucky, has lived and/or worked in nearly every city in America, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

You can find University of Hell Press on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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