Celebrating Feminist and Multicultural Presses

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. 😀 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?

18 thoughts on “Celebrating Feminist and Multicultural Presses

  1. WOW! Just WOW! I wish I had something more profound to say, but I’m just awed by your extensive list and incredibly grateful.Your blog is like the mentorship many of us have been looking for, thank you!

  2. All hail the Goddess of Bada** Research.*low curtsy*It may already be in your extended list, but for those who enjoy self- and e-publishing, there is also http://www.lulu.com. I know a lot of Ivy-League-life coach types go through there, as did the women who edited the amalgamation of lesson plans for the hiphopeducatorsassociation.org.

  3. littlem: welcome to the blog. thanks. I’m not familiar with lulu, so thanks for the link.adele – welcome to the blog. thanks. glad to see you at the spot.ilyka – thanks

  4. Southend Press looks like it has lots of books I’d want to read, and I’d never heard of them. I’ll pop down to the bookstore at lunch today and see what they can bring in!

  5. welcome to the blog Anna. what do you mean never heard of them?! If I weren’t notoriously private I would buy you one of their books right this second!!! (when you buy/read one come and tell us if you liked it.)

  6. Thank you, ProfBW. I just e-mailed my local feminist sex shop, since I noticed that Seal carries a bunch of sex books and therefore they must carry a bunch of Seal, asking them if, to make sure their bookshelves were more justly stocked, I should recommend individual titles or publishers.And I thought the “publishers” route would be hard. But now it won’t!Thank you again!

  7. Hey, just so you know, in the next couple months, Aunt Lute Books will be releasing The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Volume Two: The 20th Century. After 7 years of hard work, it is finally ready for print. It contains known and lesser known works of known and lesser known writers. It’s got slam poets, Union songwriters, Blues singers, as well as the canon of women’s literature. It’s $45 and over 1400 pages. Visit the Aunt Lute website to order.

  8. […] WOC PhD (who does continue to identify as a feminist) has some commentary on Seal Press in particular: Why Seal Press is OFF the Syllabus Don’t Mess With Feminist Press Why Seal Press is Off the Syllabus pt. 2 Celebrating Feminist and Multicultural Presses: Publishers that Rock! […]

  9. Thanks for this list– I teach a class in media studies and am making a great list from these presses to investigate for my course!

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