About the Publisher by Don Weise

Because who publishes your book is about more than the press alone, I’d like to share some of my background. Originally from Los Angeles, I began my publishing career more than twenty years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area working first in distribution and then transitioning over to the publishing side where I’ve been ever since.

My first work as an editor involved publishing a book by Gore Vidal (there’s a link on this site under “Essays, Articles, and Interviews” to an essay I wrote on that extraordinary experience) for a feminist press that specialized in the areas of gender and sexuality. Among the many authors I worked with there were Patrick Califia, Annie Sprinkle, Susie Bright, and Ann Bannon. After seven years, I chose to move to New York City and begin a new chapter of life on the East Coast.

Indeed it has been a new chapter–and an exciting one. Over the past fifteen years I’ve edited books by Edward Albee, Ben Gazaara, Peter Falk, Arienne Barbeau, Chuck Barris, Edmund White, John Rechy, Samuel R. Delany, E. Lynn Harris, David Mixner, Charles Busch, Keith Boykin, Kate Clinton, Dennis Cooper, Felice Picano, Leslie Feinberg, and James Purdy to name only a handful.

As an independent scholar in African American history, I’ve published The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives (Beacon Press); The Huey P. Newton Reader (Seven Stories); Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin (Cleis Press); and Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction (Cleis Press). I also served for ten years as assistant to Black Panther Party founding member David Hilliard at the Huey P. Newton Foundation (a link is included on this site  to an essay I wrote on this experience).

My work as an editor has been singled out for distinction repeatedly. I keynoted at the American Library Association’s national convention, Publishers Weekly named me one of twelve “Industry Changemakers” for the year, and Out magazine chose me as one of its “Out 100,” an annual list of the year’s “most intriguing gay and lesbian people” in the US.

For further information about my work and background, please visit the “Essays, Articles, and Interviews” page on this site for individual essays that chronicle my personal experiences inside and out of the book world.