I am writing this message in June 2016 not long after a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Shortly after the Orlando shootings, I attended the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) annual meetings in Philadelphia, where over 700 members of our publishing community were asking the question, “What can I do to fight the ignorance, the hatred, the violence?”
We were reminded by Peter Berkery, Executive Director, AAUP, that “University presses play an essential role in the care and feeding of civil society by cultivating and publishing books….works that engage unflinchingly with serious issues.”<p">Peter read from a poem by Reinaldo Arenas, a Cuban poet self-exiled to NYC because of the Castro regime’s persecution of LGBTQ people.
I would like to offer some lines from one of our poets featured in this catalogue which I feel reflect the way we feel about the big, bold, beautiful and troubled world in which we live.
But let’s go further than that and take back this country from its leaders and slip back to thirty-nine cent gas, but past that too, past treaties and rations…. Then let’s start again…. Let’s start with that very first thought, while it was still a thought, before it became a thing, a noun, a country, a nation, before it became you, before it wrapped itself in thread and became a predator, sun drenched and glorious, sworn to its own consumption.
From Constitution, by Micheline Maylor
Through the voices of our authors, be they poets or scholars or both, we seek to inform and educate readers. We hope their words and our efforts play a significant role in overcoming prejudice and hatred and engendering an enlightened society..
Linda Cameron, Director