March 29, 2016

Book It

Deep Vellum Publishing is changing the literary landscape in Dallas.

Will Evans, founder of Deep Vellum Publishing, wants you to know something: he isn’t a luddite. It’s not that he’s opposed to e-readers, it’s just that they need to step up their game.

“I wouldn’t consider them a serious medium for literary works, yet,” Evans says while lounging on a couch in the Deep Vellum Publishing space on Commerce Street in, you guessed it, Deep Ellum. “Nothing interesting is happening in the e-reader world. When it becomes an alternative, unique way of telling stories, then I’ll be interested.”

He also doesn’t consider books “old-fashioned.”

“Clearly, I am a book person,” he says. “I want to hold them in my hand. A book is the greatest piece of technology—it was invented thousands of years ago and has been perfected. If you ever wonder why books are as tall or wide as they are, it’s because it’s as far as the eye and brain coordinate to ingest information.”

Evans’ soon-to-be-open space is a testament to these beliefs. The storefront serves many purposes—it’s an event space (check out the calendar here), local bookstore, and office for his independent publishing company of the same name.

Founded five years ago, it was a Russian translation project that inspired Evans to open his own publishing company.

“I studied Russian literature in college, and was reading a lot of books in Russian but couldn’t find their translations in English,” Evans says. “That process let me to translate a book, and during that time I realized how few publishers publish books that are works of translation.”

With Dallas’ final publishing house, SMU Press, closing down at the same time, it seemed like a serendipitous opportunity. He took it as a sign.

But instead of going the traditional route, Evans instead chose to make DVP a non-profit.

“We focus on community and building readership,” he says. “Our main goal is to connect literature and the lives of people in this community.”

Exciting event programming, plus frequent readings, are just a few of the ways Evans is working toward this goal.

“I want to make Dallas feel and see itself as a literary area,” he says. “There’s so much going on here. We want to add to and enrich the literary culture.”

The Details: Check out more about Deep Vellum Publishing’s books and events here