about small press traffic

Since 1974 Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center (SPT) has been at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area innovative writing scene, bringing together readers, writers, and independent presses to engage, create, present, critique and archive their work.

Our mission 

is to provide a local and national platform for experimental writing, paying particular attention to underserved writers and those who identify as women, LBGTQ and/or people of color. We offer writers a continuum of support, from the generation of work to the connection to a readership, both inside and beyond the experimental writing community.

Initially a space to distribute handmade books in a nook of a bookstore in the Mission District, SPT is now recognized by the international writing community as a steward of San Francisco’s important role in contemporary literature. Our history includes our efforts to:

create community among writers

of all age, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups with programs such as the Left/Write Conference (1981–1982), the Multicultural Reading Series (1980s), Erasing the Margins (1990s), Expanding the Repertoire: Continuity and Change in African-American Writing (2000),  Coordinates: Indigenous Writing Now (2002), Dinner Talks (2015), and our current offerings of online workshops.

introduce experimental writing to new generations

through a theatrical production of Kindergarde: avant garde literature and plays for children, and an anthology of work published by Black Radish Books, both made possible by the Creative Work Fund.

cross genres 

with traditions such as Poets Theater and Neo-Benshi productions, which encourage writers to negotiate theatrical and filmic forms.

provide writers with the space to take chances

with our collaborative residency program ELEVATE (in conjunction with Real Time and Space), our online workshop series and through our internationally recognized Reading Series

who we are

Director: Syd Staiti

Advisory Board: Diana Cage, Ryanaustin Dennis, Jackie Im, Claudia La Rocco, Matt Sussman