Ooligan Press is a general trade publisher with national distribution rooted in the rich literary tradition of the Pacific Northwest. A region widely recognized for its unique and innovative sensibilities, this small corner of America is one of the most diverse in the United States, comprising urban centers, small towns, and wilderness areas. Its residents range from ranchers, loggers, and small business owners to scientists, inventors, and corporate executives. From this wealth of culture, Ooligan Press aspires to discover works that reflect the values and attitudes that inspire so many to call the Northwest their home.
Founded in 2001, Ooligan is a teaching press dedicated to the art and craft of publishing. Affiliated with Portland State University, the press is staffed by students pursuing master’s degrees in an apprenticeship program under the guidance of a core faculty of publishing professionals.
The name Ooligan is adopted from a Native American word for a smelt otherwise known as the candlefish. The ooligan was an abundant natural resource in Pacific Northwest rivers. It may well be the word from which the name Oregon was derived. During the trade of the valuable fish oil to tribes east of the Rockies, the L in Ooligan was replaced with an R, giving us the sound Ooregon. Gradually, this usage became the name of a place and assumed its current spelling of Oregon in the course of history.