Lynx House was founded in Amherst, Massachusetts, 1972 by Christopher Howell, David Lyon, and Helena Minton. For the first three years it published only the literary journal, Lynx. But in 1975 it brought out Wayne Ude’s Buffalo and Other Stories and Tomas O’Leary’s Fool at the Funeral, and the next year became non-profit incorporated and began its life as an actual literary publisher.
At this point, Robert Abel was fiction editor, and he, Joyce Abel, and David Lyon became principal grant writers, while Christopher Howell and Helena Minton did much of the acquisitions and textual editing. Even with Howell drifting back and forth between Amherst and Pacific Northwest, this group remained intact, garnering grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Council for the Arts, and publishing books by Don Hendrie Jr., Valerie Martin, Yusef Komunyakaa, Floyce Alexander, Ray Amorosi, Margaret Robison, Jeff Walker, Jenne Andrews, Robert Hahn, and Philip Garrison.
For many years the press remained headquartered in Amherst, while Howell moved from teaching job to teaching job and continued to act as director and principal editor. He became sole editor in 1990, after which the press published books by, Fred Pfeil, Patricia Goedicke, Vern Rutsala, Earl Ganz, Madeline DeFrees, James Grabill, Carlos Reyes, Carol Oles, Bill Tremblay, Robert Abel, Gary Fincke, Joyce Thompson, John Hodgen, Carolyn Miller, Domenic Stansberry, William Michael Ryan, Anthony Robbins and many others. The press moved to its present Spokane, Washington, location in 1996.
In 1997, Howell initiated the Blue Lynx prize competition, a national poetry contest offering a $2000 cash prize and publication. Winners included Carolyne Wright, Robert Gregory, Lisa Beskin, Lynne Burris Butler, Doren Robbins, Miguel Murphy, Jim Daniels, Julie Gamberg, Randal Watson, Jorn Ake, and Arianne Zwartjes.
In 2005 Lynx House became an impress of Eastern Washington University Press and continued to publish, under Christopher Howell’s direction. All books in this series were described as, “A Lynx House Book/from Eastern Washington University Press.” In 2009-10, under the guise of a response to the economic downturn, the EWU Press was closed and aggressively dismantled by the university administration, and Lynx House Press once again became independent.
While still headquartered in Spokane, Washington, Lynx House shares some production and distribution tasks with Lost Horse Press, of nearby Sandpoint, Idaho; and Christopher Buckley, of Lompoc, California, has come on as co-director and editor.