A year almost to the day after Anitra Budd had been announced as the new publisher of Coffee House Press, she said on Twitter this morning that she is leaving the Minneapolis press and is going to “move on to the next chapter in my professional life.” Budd’s resignation is effective almost immediately; her last day at the press is today.
Budd wrote that while she is leaving her position at Coffee House “sooner than expected,” she is proud of everything that she and her staff accomplished this past year, “including streamlined internal processes, a successful hybrid AWP, significant award and review attention for our authors, the launch of a new novella series, and much, much more.” She added in the tweet that she hopes her departure will “open up exciting possibilities for the press.”
Budd, who interned at Coffee House as a college student, served on its board, and also worked there as managing and acquiring editor from 2009-2014, was named publisher on August 25, 2021 and assumed her new responsibilities on Oct. 1 of that year. She was the first woman and the first BIPOC to lead Coffee House, which was founded as a literary nonprofit press by the late Allan Kornblum in 1984. Kornblum eased into retirement in 2011 and Chris Fischbach was named publisher after working with Kornblum on the transition for several years. In November 2020, Fischbach unexpectedly parted ways with the press and is now a literary agent in Minneapolis whose clients include Coffee House authors.
Cofffee House publicity manager Daley Farr told PW this morning, "Anitra wanted to spend more time with her children and also missed freelancing. It is an amicable, drama-free situation." Farr said Coffee House will begin another search soon and will work closely with the board in finding a new leader.
This story has been updated.