Aunt Lute family,
When I first came to work at Aunt Lute over 25 years ago, I felt honored to join the press that brought us Borderlands and The Cancer Journals. As a veteran of the canon wars, fresh from fighting over who should be on the required reading list for American literature courses, it had never occurred to me to notice that the books we were fighting over were the ones that had already survived an earlier round of gatekeeping, the ones that had been published.
Aunt Lute’s mission has always been not only to widen the gate, increasing access to publication, but also to cultivate an editorial ethos calibrated not to the pleasing the broadest possible market but to the supporting writers’ intentions and expanding audiences.
But times were different, too, when I joined the press: Books were made of paper, printing was still analog, the Aunt Lute Newsletter was produced on newsprint and sent through the mail, and the most famous Amazon Books was a women’s bookstore collective in Minneapolis. (That Amazon was born, like Aunt Lute and Olivia Records, out of feminist drive to create more inclusive spaces to nurture and support voices long suppressed.)
All of which is to say, the landscape of book distribution and publication has radically changed over the past few decades, and Aunt Lute’s challenge–partly financial, partly political–has been to figure out how to keep doing what we do in that changing landscape. How can we take advantage of new technological means to continue to amplify and center underrepresented voices? How can we continue to invest in the local, hands-on cultural conversations and connections Aunt Lute has always nurtured?
I still feel honored today, humbled and inspired by the work of this press, by the insight and craft of the authors we publish, and by the dedication of the staff who do the hard work of making it work.
Against all odds, we’re still here, doing it ourselves, and with your help we can do it better and for (at least!) another 40 years.
Give the gift of books
Aunt Lute Books has something for everyone. Books to energize. Books to inspire. Books to center your feelings.
Use code "HOLIDAY22" for a 20% discount off all our titles on SPD's website this holiday season.
We're so so gracious for all the donations we've been getting to our 40th anniversary fundraiser.
As a nonprofit, we've been hit hard over the last few years. The cost of doing our work keeps going up, and funding avenues we've used in the past are dwindling.
We are aiming high and trying to raise $40,000 by Giving Tuesday on November 29, 2022 to support our work.
If you can't support us financially right now, we ask that you consider sharing our fundraiser on social media, forward this email to friends, continue sharing our books and the stunning work of our authors with others, and continue to read radical works.
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