By Avery Cook | After two long years of conference Zoom rooms, we donned our lanyards once again and set up our table-skirted shop at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in Boston, from March 31 through April 3. With the conference in our backyard this year, we attended with numbers and enthusiasm, enjoying for the first time since 2019 the privilege of being surrounded by our books and chatting in person with some of our authors.
In the wake of Helene Atwan’s retirement announcement, Beacon Press is delighted to share that Gayatri Patnaik, who has been with the press for two decades, has been appointed as the next Director, effective July 30, 2022.
By Bev Rivero | In the early evening on the first Thursday in March, an excited crowd of invitees gathered at the Museum of the Moving Image to celebrate the first three titles honored by the new Science + Literature program from the National Book Foundation. In addition to the excitement of chatting in person with book folks, the event was a great start to Women’s History Month, as all three books are authored by women.
It’s a rough way to begin the new year, mourning an author and an intellectual powerhouse. Lani Guinier, legal scholar, champion for voting rights, and the first woman of color appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School, joined the ancestors on January 7. She was seventy-one. Although heartbroken about her passing, we remain honored to have published her work, including “The Tyranny of the Meritocracy,” which she wrote to provide a clear blueprint for creating collaborative education models to strengthen our democracy rather than privilege individual elites. May she rest in power.
Beacon Press is proud to announce the expansion of its poetry program, adding new voices to those of the press’s renowned poets—including James Baldwin, Mary Oliver, Sonia Sanchez, and Richard Blanco—who have been an essential part of the press’s catalog. The new series is called RAISED VOICES and will serve the overarching goal of representing marginalized voices and perspectives in poetry. The series authors will offer books that affirm progressive values, give voice to many identities, are accessible to a wide readership, and celebrate poetry’s ability to access truth in a way no other form can. Beacon plans to acquire about three new titles for the series each year.
The Civil Rights Movement has lost another great one. Radical educator, global-minded activist, MacArthur genius fellow. On July 25 at age 86, Bob Moses joined the ancestors. While we’re heartbroken about his passing, we remain honored to have published Radical Equations, which he wrote with Charles E. Cobb to tell his story of founding the Algebra Project. He provided a model for anyone looking for a community-based solution to the problems of our disadvantaged schools and improving education for poor children of color.
By Christian Coleman | It’s another fest of firsts for Octavia E. Butler! The multi-award-winning author and MacArthur fellow is having a moment, or rather a series of rolling moments that’s been gaining speed over the last few years, and we hope it keeps going!
“Science and technology have permeated nearly every aspect of our lives throughout the course of human history. But perhaps, never before in living memory, have the connections between our scientific world and our social world been quite so stark as they are today. . . . As new technologies take root in our lives, from artificial intelligence to human genome editing, they reveal and reflect even more about the complex and sometimes dangerous social architecture that lies beneath the scientific progress we pursue.”
By Gayatri Patnaik | Patrick J. Carr, Associate Professor of Sociology and an Affiliated Professor to the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, passed on April 16, 2020. I had the privilege of being Pat’s editor on Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America that Beacon published in 2009. He coauthored it with sociologist Maria Kefalas, who is also his wife, and I loved working with this duo immediately. They were an immensely talented and vibrant couple. Pat was warm and intense and tended to be quieter than Maria, who was equally warm with a vibrant presence and who more frequently shared her thoughts.
It’ll be a while before we can go back to bookshops in person to browse the shelves, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t get excited about the next book to dive into! Our editors came together to assemble a list of titles they’ve worked on that have been released this season and ones lined up later this year. Biography, history, criminal justice reform, queer equality . . . take your pick! We can’t wait for you to read them!
The coronavirus is an unprecedented crisis that is impacting our lives in significant ways. In our ongoing efforts to promote public safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, Beacon Press staff started working from home last week and will continue to do so until further notice. While some things are in flux, you should know that we are continuing to work hard—and creatively—on getting the books we publish in front of the right audiences.
Sanj Kharbanda has been named director of sales and marketing at Beacon Press, the 163-year-old independent publisher based in Boston. Kharbanda’s appointment, which is effective June 5, was announced on May 31 by Beacon’s longtime director, Helene Atwan. Kharbanda, a member of Beacon’s Board of Advisors since 2014, has thrived at the intersection of books, marketing, and transformative technology for over twenty years. He was most recently Senior Vice President, Digital Markets at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where he worked for eleven years. Kharbanda also has experience at the store level, beginning in publishing as a bookseller and store manager at WordsWorth Books in Cambridge, MA.
By Helene Atwan With thirteen consecutive years of surpluses behind us, we are feeling stronger than ever in our modern history, and ready to grow. After a national search, we’re bringing in two new Senior Editors not only to expand...
President Obama’s decision to re-establish commercial and diplomatic ties with Cuba caused Beacon's Associate Publisher Tom Hallock to think about what it might mean for publishers, writers, and readers, and to reawaken hopes he had when he visited Cuba almost twenty years ago.
Beacon Press has a new home! Here are some of the features that make it the perfect, environmentally responsible place for us to continue our mission of igniting hearts and minds.
Ever wonder what publishing professionals read in their spare time? Wonder no more! Here is the definitive list of Beacon Press's reading recommendations for 2013. A professional cyclist kicked out of the sport, a cigar smoking dragon, a Greek chorus of gay men lost to AIDS, a boyhood marred by abuse, a bullying presidency, Albert Einstein, the poetry of quietude, and so much more. Who could argue with a list like that?
Texas abortion laws, immigration reform, bizarre natural remedies from the 1700s, and single mothers voting Republican. These are some of the items we read about this week.
World Book Night, the science of racism, the Affordable Care Act, backpacking in Idaho, and more. Here's what we've been reading this week.
Book-browsing turkeys in Harvard Square, SCOTUS and greenhouse gas regulations, doctor empathy, and more. This is what we've been reading about online this week.
Here's a roundup of what we've been reading and watching online this week.