About Us

In 1990, in Baltimore, Passager was born. The idea was to bring attention to writers over 50 by giving them opportunities to publish with a nationally recognized press. At that time, it was unusual to find men and women writing in their 80s and 90s, but now we are happy to report that more and more authors join those ranks every day.

Passager Books, founded in 2005, has published anthologies, poetry collections, short fiction and memoirs by authors whose work has appeared in our journal. Our writers are our high flying birds, our muses, who make public the passions of a generation vital to our survival.

We’d love to hear from you!

“Each decade as we age is distinct. We’re filled with clichés, we’re filled with flat phrases, we could list all the ways used to describe older people. Poets and writers want to find language and tell the story of aging in a way that’s both truthful and new, revelatory.” Read the interview with editor Kendra Kopelke in Prime Time Living, a special edition of the Baltimore Sun.

Meet the Staff

Staff photos

Mary Azrael and Kendra Kopelke, co-editors, have been editing Passager together (nonstop) for 25 years. Poets themselves, they also write opera librettos (Mary) direct an MFA program (Kendra), teach writing classes (Mary and Kendra), and play music. Pantea A. Tofangchi, art director, is a poet and skillful graphic designer, who pours her heart into making Passager’s books beautiful. Christine Drawl is our managing editor and is as professional and prompt as she is talented and wonderful to work with. Also a writer (of fiction) Christine received her MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. Our business manager, Jaye Crooks, has been with us for over 20 years. Not only do we depend on her to help keep our expenses from going over the cliff, but she’s full of good ideas for the future of Passager. 


Dennis H. Lee portrait

Congratulations to Dennis H. Lee, winner of the 2020 Henry Morgenthau First Book Poetry Prize for a Writer over 70. Read more about Dennis and his winning manuscript that judge David Keplinger calls “a serious achievement of growing up and growing older.”

Congratulations to Liz Abrams-Morley, winner of the 2020 Passager Poetry Contest! Celebrate all our winning poets on the full list of honorable mentions.

Are you keeping a journal or diary during this pandemic? If so, we invite you to share an entry (or two) with Passager. Full guidelines posted on our Submit page.

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? Gilbert Arzola says he was a poet at 5 but the world changed him. Video interview coming soon. Learn more about Gilbert and his new collection Prayers of Little Consequence.