About Us


Who is Park Bench Publishing?
Matt Ward, publisher
1019 East Main St.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130

We won’t try to fool you. It is a one-man, desk-top publishing effort to get out to the public a few books upon which the big publishers wouldn’t want to take a chance, either because of limited general interest or lack of prominence by the author.
Self-publishing used to be considered as bad as vanity publishing. Perhaps that’s why Benjamin Franklin used the pen name Richard Saunders to self-publish Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732.

But, consider all the following authors who have chosen to self-publish: Margaret Atwood, L. Frank Baum, William Blake, Ken Blanchard, Robert Bly, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Byron, Willa Cather, Pat Conroy, Stephen Crane, e.e. cummings, W.E.B. DuBois, Alexander Dumas, T.S. Eliot, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Zane Grey, Thomas Hardy, E. Lynn Harris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, Robinson Jeffers, Spencer Johnson, Stephen King, Rudyard Kipling, Louis L'Amour, D.H. Lawrence, Rod McKuen, Marlo Morgan, John Muir, Anais Nin, Thomas Paine, Tom Peters, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexander Pope, Beatrix Potter, Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, Irma Rombauer, Carl Sandburg, Robert Service, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Upton Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, William Strunk, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoi, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf and, oh yes, Henry Matthew Ward.

Park Bench Publishing got its start (and its name) from an idea I had a few years ago to provide a park bench on the front corner of my yard for passers-by to sit and rest. My hometown, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is a typical southern town of about 100,000. I live in the old, historic section of town on East Main Street. It’s a nice residential street with a sidewalk on each side that provides an excellent walking (and jogging) route for many residents. It soon occurred to me that I could provide some of my poems in a weather-tight box next to the bench for the passer-by to read as they rested. Thus was born…Park Bench Publishing, on the smallest of scales!

W. D. Mooney, Master Headmaster is the first book to be published under the name.  It is a biography of a southern headmaster and founder of several preparatory schools in the late 1800s and early 1900s, some of which are still prominently and prestigiously in existence.  Mooney was a real-life “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” teacher.

Next came Trumpet of the Lord, a collection of trumpet descants that go with favorite Christian hymns, suitable for playing along with congregational singing or as solos (some are trios). It also contains complete information on how to make and play the Shofar (Ram’s Horn) along with a liturgy for using the ram’s horn in a Christian church service. 

The third book published, Nancy Ward: Military and Genealogical Records of the Famous Indian Woman of Tennessee is actually an old book by Annie Burns that only had about 100 copies (if that many) originally printed in mimeograph.  The book was as hard to read as it was to find because of the all-capital-letters style of typing, the many typographical errors and the lack of explanation of many of the terms and locations mentioned.  The new edition is retyped, correcting mistakes and footnoting many individuals and places mentioned in the original.  The new edition will also make it easy to possess a copy of this important work.

Universal Rx: The Hug, and other selected poems, will contain humorous and serious poetry written over the past 25 years.