Carmen Giménez was a young poet in San Francisco’s vibrant literary scene. She found few publishers that promoted writers of color in a way “that wasn’t tokenizing,” she said. “As a woman of color, I had an awareness that there was this whole world of writers that existed, that needed a space.”

Giménez co-founded Noemi Press in 2002. The company has produced lithographs, silk-screened books and even a poetry collection with a spray-painted cover. Its books have been finalists for National Book Critics Circle and Lambda Literary awards. Now, after 20 years, she has stepped down to become the executive director and publisher of Graywolf Press.

Giménez left her post at Virginia Tech, where she was an English professor. Her goal will be to cultivate the next generation of public intellectuals, whoever and wherever they might be. She believes there is probably a public intellectual waiting to break out. “Maybe their book doesn’t even exist yet,” she said, “but let’s talk about what it would look like”

Giménez’s own book “Be Recorder,” a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, was a Graywolf title. “You see what the book can be when the writer has the capacity to work at their wildest, full potential,’ she says.

Giménez's first book, "Beast Meridian," won a Whiting Award in 2019. "She would not set you up for failure, because she was going to back you up the whole time," says co-author Anthony Cody. “She is looking to create opportunities,” he says.
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