Cumulus Press was founded by David Widgington in 1998 as a single book project to publish an architectural walking guide of Montréal. During the research phase of the book, Widgington met Kirk Johnson, then a Master’s student in Creative Writing. Johnson joined the book project as co-writer, which was published as Montréal Up Close: a pedestrian’s guide to the city. Cumulus’ second title, Companion Pieces, was Kirk’s first collection of poetry, and the beginning of Cumulus’ ten-year stint as a bona fide publisher.
One of the important features of Cumulus’ publishing program is its Tendril Anthology Series, a space reserved for the apprenticeship of talented young writers to cast shadows of themselves. It was also a place for established writers to show us what they were writing when they were under the age of 25 with each book’s Trestle chapbook. The series made it to three volumes, showcasing over forty young writers with A Trestle Chapbook by George Elliott Clarke, Elisabeth Harvor and Cleo Paskal.
Another significant segment of Cumulus’ publishing program are books about globalization, activism, indy media, and other facets of social movements that offer a critical perspective of social issues. Titles like: Autonomous Media, Picture This!, Extraction!: comix reportage, Counter Productive, The Hero Book, North of 9/11 fit well into this category.
In 2008, Cumulus Press celebrated its 10th anniversary at a huge party, where publisher, David Widgington, also announced that the press was about to close. Averaging two titles a year since its inception, Cumulus’ twenty titles have etched a premanent mark within Montréal’s publishing scene and a conistent presence across Canada. Widgington is a founding organizer of Expozine in 2002, which initiated Canada’s largest annual small press, comic and zine fair.