Press

Why Scarlet Oak?

Scarlet Oak Press takes its name from one of Henry David Thoreau's favorite trees. In his 1862 essay "Autumnal Tints," Thoreau salutes the unique colors of a North American fall, a seasonal rite that teaches sacrifice and transcendence. 

As philosopher and naturalist, he admires aspen, hickory, maple, elm, but takes greatest pleasure in the enduring scarlet oak, whose colors are last to ripen, last to fade. Each leaf is "borrowed fire...a late and unexpected glory worth waiting for." 

We read his emblem as a sign that books will endure, despite any changes that come to writing and publishing.  

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