Five Islands Press was founded in 1986 by Ron Pretty, who published over 230 books by Australian poets before retiring in 2007.

In 2007, the Press was re-established by poets and scholars Kevin Brophy and Lyn Hatherly. From 2007 until 2019, the Press published a further 44 books by emerging and established poets, with Libby Austen at the helm of graphic design.

After an intense but short battle with cancer, Lyn died in March 2016. In her time with the new incarnation of the Press she worked on the expansion into e-books, the establishment of a new design for the Press, a new distribution partnership, and the recruitment of new editors.

The Press published its last new titles in 2019 and closed in 2020, with Kevin Brophy, Eddie Paterson, Katial Ariel and Bella Li as managing co-editors. Past editors for the Press include Robyn Rowland, Dan Disney, Susan Fealy, Sandy Fitts, Michael McKay and Jenna Shaw.

This website now exists as an archive, managed by Five Islands poet Gareth Sion Jenkins as part of the Apothecary Archive. Where 5 Islands Press books are still available either from poets themselves or as republished by other presses information about accessing these works can be found on the individual book entries on this site.

For all inquiries please email: theapothecaryarchive@gmail.com