About SPD - Staff Bios

Jeffrey Lependorf, Executive Director,

Jeffrey Lependorf, the Executive Director of SPD, has over fifteen years of experience in development, fundraising, corporate sponsorship, and strategic planning. He has served as Development Director at Creative Capital Foundation, Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project, the Poetry Society of America, and In the Life Media.

While not at SPD or CLMP in New York (where he also serves as Executive Director), he is active as a composer and also serves as Director of Music Omi, an international music residency program in upstate New York. His Masterpieces of Western Music audiocourse is available through Barnes and Noble's "Portable Professor" series.

Laura Moriarty, Deputy Director,

Laura Moriarty has worked at SPD since 1999. Her books have been carried by SPD since the eighties and she has been a faithful customer since the seventies. She was formerly the Acquisitions & Marketing Director and has been Deputy Director since 2004. For more than a decade, she was Director at the American Poetry Archives for the Poetry Center and San Francisco State University. She is the author thirteen books of poetry and two novels.

Her selected poetry, A Semblance: Selected and New Poems, 1975-2007 came out from Omnidawn Publications in September 2007. A Tonalist, a long essay poem (Nightboat Books) appeared in 2010, and Who That Divines is forthcoming in 2014 also from Nightboat. Her awards include the Poetry Center Book Award in 1983, a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Award in Poetry in 1992 and a New Langton Arts Award in Literature 1998. She has taught at Naropa University and Mills College.

Brent Cunningham, Operations Director,

Brent Cunningham has been with SPD for over twelve years, first as their Sales & Marketing Manager, then as the Operations Director beginning in 2004. He brought a strong background in customer service to SPD, having previously worked for an internet e-commerce company in San Francisco. From 2001-2007 he served on the board of Small Press Traffic, one of the premier literary presenting organizations in San Francisco. His Masters degree is in English from the Poetics Program at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo. He has published two books of poetry with SPD publishers, Bird & Forest (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005) and Journey to the Sun (Atelos, 2012).

Andrew Pai, Financial Director,

Andrew Pai joined SPD at the beginning of 2005 as an Administrative Associate in the Business Office before becoming the Business Manager in 2006. In 2004 he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in English.

Prepared at first to be a computer science major, he has a strong background in math and later developed his administrative and publishing knowledge through working for the San Francisco City Hall as a publication assistant. He is currently working on a novel and volunteering at night as an editorial assistant for a grassroots Asian American magazine.

John Sakkis, Warehouse Manager,

John Sakkis joined the SPD family as the Customer Service and Sales Associate in April, 2008, and was promoted to Warehouse Manager in March, 2009. He received his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University (2004) and went on to earn an MFA in Writing and Poetics from The Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University (2006). He curates the BOTH BOTH Reading Series in San Francisco.

Janice Worthen, Sales & Marketing Manager,

Janice grew up in Idaho and earned her BA in English from the University of Idaho, where she interned with the literary journal Fugue. While working as a receiving manager in Boise, she decided to move to the Bay Area to earn her master's degree. She completed her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco in 2012 and loves the Bay Area so much, she decided to stay. She started out as a volunteer at SPD, became a warehouse assistant, and now works as our Shipping Coordinator. She is also a freelance writer for a local online news source as well as a poet.

Trisha Low, Publicity Manager,

Trisha joined SPD as Publicity Manager after two years as Director of Development at [clmp], SPD's sister organization in New York, where she worked with over 400 small presses nationwide. Her previous experience includes time at feminist arts and activist organizations including grassroots work in Philadelphia's thriving girl punk community as well as at The Feminist Press. A poet and performer, she earned her MA at NYU's Performance Studies program and is the author of The Compleat Purge (Kenning Editions, 2013).

Steve Orth, Customer Service & Publicity Associate,

Steve Orth is from Kansas City, MO and has lived in the Bay Area since 2000. With Lindsey Boldt, he began publishing small books, under the moniker Summer BF Press, which published many classics such as Typing Wild Speech by Dana Ward, The Truth About Ted by Bruce Boone, and many others. Steve also edited Where Eagles Dare Magazine and curated Hybrid Moments Reading Series. He was a founding member of the short lived, but memorable, La Commune Books & Café, a collectively owned bookstore in Oakland, CA. Steve is also a writer, and his latest, Cyborg Legs (OMG! Press, 2015) is a fable involving grocery stores.

Ari Banias, Customer Service & Publicity Associate,

Ari was born in LA, grew up outside Chicago, and has worked with books since 2000, in Bay Area bookstores and at Unnameable Books in New York. He has also taught creative writing and literature at UW Madison and at CUNY Hunter College, where he earned an MFA in poetry. Ari's the author of a chapbook, What's Personal is Being Here With All of You (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2012), and a book, Anybody: Poems (W.W. Norton, 2016).

Johnny Hernandez, Customer Service Associate,

Johnny, after volunteering in the SPD warehouse, was promoted to a part time position as a warehouse assistant.  In early 2012 he was promoted to the position of customer service associate. He has earned his English BA degree from UC Berkeley (with an emphasis in poetry) and continued to earn his MFA from Mills College. He is a poet, musician and photographer. His first chapbook collection, “U” was kindly produced by Achiote Press with forthcoming work in an anthology project: “Ghost Republic” through Ampersand Press.


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