Salt Publishing is an independent publisher whose origins date back to 1990 when poet John Kinsella launched Salt Magazine in Western Australia. The journal rapidly developed an international reputation as a leading publisher of new poetry and poetics. Over the next decade, Kinsella, together with Tracy Ryan, went on to develop Folio(Salt), publishing and co-publishing books and chapbooks focused on a pluralist vision of contemporary poetry which extended across national boundaries and a wide range of poetic practices.
In 1999 John Kinsella, Clive Newman and Chris Hamilton-Emery formed a partnership to develop Salt Publishing. When Newman left in 2002 and the original partnership was dissolved, Jen Hamilton-Emery, a senior manager in the National Health Service, joined Chris Hamilton-Emery to take over the ownership of Salt, relaunching the business in the UK. Since that time Salt has rapidly expanded its size and the range of its publishing programme. In November 2004, Salt was incorporated in the UK and Linda Bennett (ex-Waterstone's) joined as a Director. In July 2005 John Skelton joined as a Director.
Chris Hamilton-Emery was given an editor's award for excellence in literature in the 2006 American Book Awards.
In 2007 Salt was shortlisted for an innovation award in the inaugural UK Independent Publishing Awards, though Faber & Faber won the category. In 2008 Salt was shortlisted again for the 2008 Nielsen Innovation of the Year award, and won it.
From its offices in Cromer on the north Norfolk coast, Salt now publishes around 100 books a year, covering poetry, drama, fiction, biography, literary criticism and scholarly works by authors from the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean and mainland Europe. The press has developed several strands of poetry publishing some associated with the British Poetry Revival and the Language poets. A Native American writing series, Earthworks edited by Janet McAdams, began in 2005, winning the business the 2006 Publisher of the Year award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. The indigenous writing series has since been expanded and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Katherine Hedeen and Gordon Henry, Jr have joined the editorial team operating in Gambier, Ohio. A series of short stories was launched in 2007, as was the Salt Companions series of author-specific companions. The press has now moved into fiction publishing and launched a new children's list: Salt Kids, in 2010.
The business is beginning to diversify and has recently appointed Ian Gregson as the editor of a new Welsh list, operating out of Bangor and Roddy Lumsden joined the team as commissioning editor for Poetry in 2010.
- American Booksellers Association (2013). "The American Book Awards / Before Columbus Foundation [1980–2012]". BookWeb. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. "2006 [...] Editor’s Award: Chris Hamilton-Emery, Salt Publishing Ltd."
- IPG (March 2007). "Independent Publishing Awards: The Pick of Independent Publishing". Independent Publishers Guild. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2013. "Nielsen Innovation of the Year: Faber & Faber for its Independent Alliance of Publishers [...] Salt Publishing for its efforts to reinvigorate poetry sales."
- Shine, Bridget (March 2008). "The Independent Publishing Awards 2008". Independent Publishers Guild. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2013. "Nielsen Innovation of the Year: Salt Publishing"