Illuminated Press is an independent publisher that crafts books to provide readers with new information, give voice to a wide range of perspectives, and explore the complexities of our social/political/economic fabric. To bring light amid darkness and uncertainty. 

Our books feature new and emerging writers and artists in poetry, fiction, non-fiction and text-image. Books are bound by hand with sustainable materials including handmade papers from rags and scrap fabric. 

Illuminated Press was founded by Laura Rowley in 2014.

Lyrics by Y La Bamba

The Story

Book Arts Center at Wells College  

Aurora, NY

Laura discovered book arts during her undergraduate studies at Wells College in Aurora, New York. She took a hand bookbinding course with Sarah Bryant and realized a connection between her long time passions of art, craft, books, and writing. After graduating from Wells with an individualized major in book arts, Laura earned an MFA from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. During her final year, she returned to Wells as the Victor Hammer Fellow and complete her thesis project. 

Laura's research and community work revolve around art for social change. She is interested in how democracy and social movements have been supported by printed media. 

Laura is a faculty member Rochester Institute of Technology where she teaches bookbinding. She teaches workshops at public schools, libraries, community art spaces, and more.


Laura is a founding member of the Open Art Hive in Ithaca, New York where free, inclusive, and recycled art-making takes place. The Art Hives Network connects small and  regenerative  community arts studios together in order to build solidarity across geographic distances and welcomes everyone as an artist.

For any questions or to inquire about a project, please send an email to laurakayrowley@gmail.com.

Check out Laura's CV here.

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