Press

I continue to believe that we are all interconnected, feminist activists-feminist presses- feminist academics – feminist bookstores, so . . .

Publishers that Rock!

Aunt Lute – Somehow I forgot Aunt Lute when making my previous list of publishers I have worked with in the past to bring independent feminist publishers into the classroom . . . shame on me! Aunt Lute publishes books by women and about women’s points of view that they feel are underrepresented in both mainstream and independent publishing. They define themselves as a “not-for-profit, multi-cultural, women’s press” and, unlike many publishers, they welcome working with new authors.

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Of course I love Aunt Lute because they publish Anzaldua’s Borderlands, Lorde’s The Cancer Journals, and critically important anthologies like the multicultural feminist text Haciendo Caras and one of the first South Asian feminist anthologies Our Feet Walk the Sky. They also publish books that are on my personal reading list like Haggadah, Junglee Girl, Radical Acts, Transforming Feminist Practice, The Issue of Power the author of whom wrote one of the essays on whiteness from a white feminist that I use in my classroom for both its good and problematic points, and The Anthology of US Women Writers. Their books range from the personal memoir and poetry to academic anthologies and books on feminist pedagogy. They also have an internship program though no positions were open at the time of writing this post. They do not have a donation page but consider sending them some funds anyway or better yet buy a couple of their great books. (They also have a myspace page.)

Southend Press – I rave about Southend Press and their titles endlessly on this blog. Not only do they publish an amazing assortment of feminist texts, as I tell you all the time, but I recently found out they have a female majority and 50% poc on staff. Southend Press books are also far more affordable than other traditional presses and most are written with accessibility in mind. What that means is that they not only reach academic readers but also general audiences with topicssep as varied as: the prison industrial complex, reproductive rights, women’s environmental and union organizing, sexual violence, war, and genocide, etc. They cultivated partnerships with feminist academic/activist group Incite! to publish two critical books about activism in women’s communities of color: The Color of Violence and The Revolution Will Not Be Funded. Among their authors are cutting edge theorists like: Andrea Smith, Vandana Shiva, Winona LaDuke, Aurora Levins Morales, and Kristian Williams. They also published one of the first widely read anthologies on A/API feminism, one of the first anthologies on Arab American and Arab Canadian Feminists, and one of the first anthologies on Katrina that contains most powerful essays I have read on gentrification, feminism, and Katrina. They resurrected critical feminist texts that had gone out of print and continue to print current work of women of color like bell hooks and Cherrie Moraga. They also keep some of the first canonized texts on feminism and whiteness in print, including Mab Segrest’s Memoir of a Race Traitor. Please also consider donating to, or buying a book from, Southend Press whose powerful work in independent publishing has led the way in decolonized publishing practices. :D By the way, THEY ARE HIRING.

RedBone Press – I cannot say enough about the founder of RedBone, Lisa C. Moore. She is an amazing woman who saw a gap in both queer publishing and afro-centric publishing and took it upon herself to help fill it.

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She publishes poetry, memoirs, academic anthologies, etc. written by and about the queer black diaspora. The press has won several Lambda Literary Awards espousing to its success and impact. Among the books the authors RBP publishes that I read over and over again Sharon Bridgeforth and Ana Maurine Lara.

Feminist Press – This academic press has committed to publishing “women from all eras and all regions of the globe” as well as recovering works that might be out of print or forgotten. They give free books to academics who write about how they have used their books in the classroom, which means an extra book to loan to students on limited incomes, ensure feministpressone more of your TAs has a copy, or to donate to the library to increase the number of feminist books on campus (the possibilities are endless). All though they are an academic press, they have a young reader series that includes accessible books about feminist activists like Marina Silva, Mamphele Ramphele (who I had the privilege of hearing speak and sitting down to dinner with; she is inspiring), and Ela Bhatt. As part of this series, they also publish one of my favorite authors/books Paule Marshall and a book I recently ordered to review for my BorderLands course by Estela Trambley. They have two grant funded projects to highlight women in science and women in Africa. The resurrected the Bibo Brinker series, which tho pulp fiction, has a critical place in lesbian herstory. Their academic collection is too vast to chart but you can check it out here. And they also publish Women’s Studies Quarterly. Consider donating or buying a book from them and support women authors. (They also have a myspace blog)

Children’s Book Press -

As the video points out, Children’s Book Press publishes a considerable number of books for children illustrated by female artists. Many of their books are also written by women. According to their mission statement, it was ” founded in 1975 [to] promote cooperation and understanding through multicultural and bilingual literature, offering children a sense of their culture, history and importance.” It was founded by Harriet Rohmer with a grant from the Dept. of Ed and was the first children’s book publishing company to focus exclusively on multicultural publishing. It is also run by women including Executive Editor Dana Goldberg and Executive Director Lorraine Garcia-Nakata. Its editorial decisions about what to publish are “missions driven,” meaning in support of their mission to reflect the lives and heritage of multicultural children, rather than market driven, ie what supposedly sells. Because they are also committed to educating people about the cultures that make up the U.S. and the world, they provide free teacher’s guides to educators for all of their books. Please also consider donating to help support the press, which also gets both soft and hard (not my language/or theirs) money from a myriad of sources. Or better yet, donate and then buy and gift a book from their catalog.

  • For an extended list of feminist presses click here
  • Also see my previous post that linked to independent presses for a longer list of queer and independent presses

So where do your books come from?

15 thoughts on “Press

    • welcome to the blog farj. sorry about the link. I haven’t put it in b/c I am planning to update this page in the future.

  1. Very well thought out and informative. I’m sure many others enjoy reading this too, but are just a little scared to post – anyway – thanks again!

    • welcome to the blog. (I’m assuming you’re not a bot despite the name . . .? ) I hope it isn’t scary talking here, everybody is welcome.

  2. I like that you included Aunt Lute on your publishers list but I also wanted to mention…Aunt Lute owed Gloria Anzaldua a lot of money before she died…I even believe her lack of funds contributed to her illness. Peace. Love your blog. Just found it today.

    • thanks. I can’t find any corroborating evidence for this, do you have a link or a citation? I can’t make changes to this without it.

      agreed $ was an issue in general. Anzaldua’s death was definitely preventable both in terms of access the class-race-gender issues of health care in this country and the environmental racism (both in terms of recognized pollutants & psycho-social ones) that likely played into declining health

      • Prof Susurro.
        thanks for the reply and the environmental racism connection…i like your style. i am looking into some more tangible evidence than what i have as of now (mostly word-of-mouth). i will get back to you as soon as i have some thicker information. here’s a small statement i found online. have no idea how credible this source is. but nonetheless worth contemplating.

        best.

    • Thank you for looking and providing the link. While I’m not sure why Ana Louis would be on a blog commenting when she generally sticks to just a few academic places on the internet, it seems the issue was not that they didn’t pay her but that they “had trouble paying her” (Ana Louis’ words). Unfortunately, many independent presses have financial problems throughout their histories and Aunt Lute did go through economic hardship not-so-recently. Feminist publishing has been really hard hit by a combination of factors that is likely exacerbates the problem. The other issue implied by that quote is that her work went out of print because of indie presses. While this was initially the case, there are other circumstances currently impacting why some of her books are out of print now.

      Anzaldua was very intentional about her choices and where many of us let our politics get in the way of our bills that can lead to issues, but I think the larger question is why are our politics so important to use that we would risk so much? and why are the risks so great?

      She was also very intentional about using triumph and struggle for teachable moments. Based on her politics and the limited interactions I had with her, I don’t think she would have made a similar comment on a public blog about the Press she herself was so invested in (her original publisher) or Aunt Lute which is one of the only presses publishing mainstream canonized feminists and radical woc feminists at a similar rate. Given This Bridge We Call Home was out for a while before she died, she had time to discuss publishing in its pages or in another forum and did not.

      That said, I am glad you raised another critical vein of questions in this discussion which includes:
      1. What are the financial pitfalls of indie presses (going out of print, not getting paid on time, risking not getting paid for a while, etc.)
      2. How do they measure up against racism and ableism in other Indie Presses and oppressions in general in most established presses?
      3. And what can we do to change those socio-economic politics so that these are not the questions authors have to ask?
      4. What does it mean to spend money on publishers who shut out certain groups of women, or all women, or publish 1 or 2 a year over those who publish a wide range of women but can’t compete with the royalties and pay that a big press or an indie press secretly owned by a giant distributor can?
      5. And how do our shopping habits help hold these paradigms in place and/or challenge them?
      6. Who is invested in the stories behind feminist publishing and Why?
      7. How do we cross check information (usually three or more sources including primaries and secondaries) when only some of the players are talking? or as in the case of really public indie publishing convos last summer, the people talking are making it up as they go, going on hearsay, or starting in the middle?
      8. What is our responsibility in public discussion and to whom?
      9. how do we think intersectionally about publishing, discussion of publishing, and ultimately the oppressions in our world that impact both indie and “corporate” presses?

      lots to think about.

  3. I love your site, and follow you on Twitter. I am looking for scholarly journals on rape, trauma and Black women. It must have a method section to the paper. Any suggestions.

  4. Prof. Susurro, do you write/publish book reviews? I just co-edited a volume on Black hair and body politics that I’d like you to consider writing about on your blog. I’ve only followed your blog since December (TPATF movie review), but thoroughly enjoy your comments and insight, even when it doesn’t mesh with mine. Here’s a link to the publisher’s page about the book. Thanks!

    http://www.hamptonpress.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HP&Product_Code=978-1-57273-881-2&Product_Count=&Category_Code=

    • Hi Kimberly, welcome to the blog. Your link does not work but I did track down the book. If you have your publisher contact me about sending a review copy I am happy to add it to the books I am currently reviewing for the blog & our upcoming women of color e-journal/blog.

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