Salmon Poetry, taking its name from the Salmon of Knowledge in Celtic mythology, was established in 1981 as an alternative voice in Irish literature. The Salmon, a journal of poetry and prose was a flagship for writers in the west of Ireland, and Salmon's first books, Gonella by Eva Bourke and Goddess on the Mervue Bus by Rita Ann Higgins broke new ground for women poets. Since then over 600 volumes of poetry have been produced, and Salmon has become one of the most important publishers in the Irish literary world. By specialising in the promotion of new poets, particularly women poets, Salmon has enriched Irish literary publishing.
In recent years Salmon has developed a cross-cultural, international literary dialogue... "broadening the parameter of Irish literature by opening up to other cultures and by urging new perspectives on established traditions. That enviable balance of focus and ranginess is a rare and instructive achievement" ('Opening up to Other Cultures', Poetry Ireland Review 54, Kathleen McCracken.
Originally based in Galway city, Salmon moved to County Clare in 1995. The Salmon premises are now based at The Salmon Bookshop & Literary Centre, Parliament Street, Ennistymon, County Clare.
Salmon Poetry is one of the most innovative, perceptive and important publishing houses in the U.K. or Ireland. It has fostered and supported the work of new writers and has established them in the public consciousness.- Eavan Boland
Salmon's unique profile grows from the diversity of the work it publishes... most notably, Salmon is distinguished by the number of women on its list.
- Patricia B. Haberstroh, Irish Literary Supplement
Salmon has not merely accommodated new voices, but has actively sought them out. And the general cultural significance of this work has been made immeasurably more important by Salmon's innovation in discovering and publishing the work of so many women. - Fintan O’Toole