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Aunt Lute Appoints Queer, Afrofuturist - Isis Asare - As New Executive Director

The appointment of a new Executive Director heralds a new era for Aunt Lute specifically and feminist publishing in general

San Francisco, CA, June 4, 2024 - Isis Asare will take the helm as Executive Director of Aunt Lute Books, the intersectional feminist, nonprofit press that has championed underrepresented authors for over four decades. Asare, a queer Afrofuturist and technology entrepreneur, steps into the role as co-founder Joan Pinkvoss transitions into a consulting capacity.

Pinkvoss, who made her decision to step down public last year, has been a driving force behind Aunt Lute's mission for 42 years. "Passing the torch to Isis is an honor, given all that she has already accomplished," said Pinkvoss. "Her dedication to spotlighting voices often overlooked in publishing aligns perfectly with our mission, and the skills she brings to the Executive Director position are exactly those needed to lead Aunt Lute into its next chapter. I see a bright, bright future ahead."

Isis Asare, Executive Director Aunt Lute. Photo by Bryon Malik.

Aunt Lute Books was established in 1982 by Barb Wieser and Pinkvoss, with the vision of supporting writers largely ignored by mainstream publishing. It continues to uphold its mission, now under Asare's leadership, by publishing Doll Seed, And Other Stories by Michele Tracy Berger this summer following the publication of Keep A’Livin' by Kathya Alexander in April. "We also have an impressive lineup of titles set for release in 2025. I cannot wait to share advanced reader copies with independent bookstores, especially feminist bookstores, across the country," beams Asare.

Board President Anahid Kassabian expressed her confidence in Asare, stating, "Isis brings a fresh perspective and innovative approach that will undoubtedly propel Aunt Lute in the next chapter. The way Asare navigated the shutdown of Small Press Distribution and secured a new distribution partnership with Consortium Book Sales & Distribution in her first few weeks shows how dynamic her leadership is and will be as we move forward."

Isis Asare, a Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia alum, is also the CEO/Founder of Sistah Scifi, the first Black-owned bookstore focused on science fiction and fantasy in the United States as validated by the American Booksellers Association. "As we celebrate Pride and Juneteenth, I am excited to orchestrate the press that released Alice Walker Banned by Alice Walker and first published The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde," says Asare, "I am also proud that Aunt Lute's practice of intersectional feminism actively supports transgender and gender nonconforming readers, authors, and community healers."

Aunt Lute Books has a rich history of publishing works from a diverse range of cultures, with an emphasis on intersectional feminist and LGBTQ+ perspectives. Many of its titles,  such as Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera and The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers Volumes 1 and 2,  are recognized for their significant contributions to academic fields such as lesbian and gender studies.

Asare's appointment as Executive Director marks a pivotal shift for Aunt Lute Books, reinforcing its commitment to promoting underrepresented storytellers. In light of the recent revocation of Roe v. Wade, the persistence of the gender pay gap, which has only narrowed by 2 cents in the past twenty years, the closure of revolutionary feminist presses, and the decline of feminist bookstores in the United States from 100 to 30 between 1990 and 2023, Aunt Lute's mission is more critical than ever.

The role of feminist literature in advocating for women's rights cannot be overstated. Aunt Lute Books, one of the largest of the roughly 30 feminist presses in the country along with The Feminist Press and Seal Press according to Publishers Weekly, continues to bridge cultures and experiences, and to honor the struggles and triumphs of those historically erased from literature. In this challenging climate, publishing feminist literature is a vital act of resistance and empowerment, ensuring that diverse perspectives continue to be heard and celebrated.

For updates on Aunt Lute's transition and other news, subscribe to the Aunt Lute Books newsletter. To learn more about Aunt Lute's diverse collection of books, visit


Aunt Lute Books is an intersectional, feminist press dedicated to publishing literature by those who have been traditionally underrepresented in or excluded by the literary canon. Core to Aunt Lute’s mission is the belief that the written word is critical to understanding and relating to each other as humans. Through the sharing of stories, we strengthen ties across cultures and experiences, and at the same time honor the hurt, loss, and harm incurred through structural power imbalances, prejudiced and gendered systems, and ancestral trauma. We uplift these voices in order to build a more just future.


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