About this project
**Be sure to check our Project Updates page for information on our exciting new incentive: limited edition five-color screenprints featuring Gloria's image and text from Borderlands.**
We are Aunt Lute Books, a nonprofit press, focused on bringing the voices of women, particularly queer women and women of color, to publication.
This is our 30th year; it is also the 25th anniversary of our most widely-read text, Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. We will be publishing the 4th edition of this monumental work, which has proved a catalyst for many changes in the study of critical race theory, spirituality, gender, and sexuality.
In honor of this momentous year, we are launching this Kickstarter project so that we can defray some of the considerable costs of production for the 4th edition of Borderlands/La Frontera.
::About this Book: How Borderlands/La Frontera Continues to Make a Profound Impact::
Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenge how we think about identity. Borderlands/La Frontera remaps understandings of what a “border” is, seeing it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.
This year Borderlands/La Frontera turns 25. This incredible text continues to be used in schools and universities world-wide. Gloria Anzaldúa’s work has been used by researchers of topics as diverse as international conflict resolution, inclusive pedagogies, and spiritual development. Today, the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa meets every 18 months to continue Anzaldúa’s scholarly work.
Recently, Borderlands/La Frontera, along with a great number of other works, has been challenged and restricted as a text in Arizona public schools. We know this is because Borderlands is a site of inspiration, friction, sparks, change…
Since its first publication, Borderlands/La Frontera has educated and inspired countless artists, students, and academics. The trajectory and impact of this book cannot be measured in its entirety. Your contribution to our publishing of the fourth edition of Borderlands means the potential to spark powerful projects, movements, and personal transformations far beyond its physical printing.
Gloria Anzaldúa was a Chicana-Tejana-lesbian-feminist poet, theorist, and fiction writer born September 26, 1942, in Raymondville, Texas, to Amalia and Urbano Anzaldúa. The eldest of four children, she moved with her family to work on different ranches in South Texas until she was eleven, when the family settled in Hargill, Texas to give the children more educational opportunities. She received her B.A. from Pan American University. As an openly lesbian Chicana writer and activist, one of very few at the beginning of her career, most of Gloria’s life work involved creating cultural and political space for the voices of women of color. In addition to writing Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, a book named by Library Journal as one the 38 best books of 1987 and by The Hungry Mind Review as one of the 100 most important books of the twentieth century, Gloria co-edited (with Cherríe Moraga) This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981); edited Making Face/Making Soul: Haciendo Caras (1990); wrote three children’s books; and (with AnaLouise Keating) co-edited the anthology this bridge we call home and published Entrevistas/Interviews, a collection of interviews.
Among several other awards, Gloria received a Before Columbus American Book Award for This Bridge Called My Back, the Lesbian Rights Award, and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Gloria did graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She had just completed her dissertation when she died, on May 15, 2004, from diabetes-related complications. She was awarded her PhD posthumously in June of 2004.
::What your gift will mean...::
The main purpose of this project is to enable Aunt Lute to publish and promote the fourth edition of Borderlands/La Frontera.
This most recent printing will serve to keep this deeply relevant text in print, easily available for future readers, and provide updated context in the new introduction. With current attacks and budget cuts eliminating Ethnic, Women's, and Queer Studies in universities, there is a vital need to preserve and further the ever important legacy and stories Gloria provided.
With your help, this book may turn a profit that can then be put back into publishing new voices, publicizing our other unique titles, and hosting our many free, community-driven events. Kickstarting our effort to keep Borderlands in print will also help keep Aunt Lute afloat so our nonprofit press can keep building community and encouraging underrepresented voices.
The truth is, this isn’t a great time for print publishing or nonprofits. Many arts grants are now defunct, and the majority still in existence focus on the performing and visual arts. Unlike many small publishers, Aunt Lute has stayed in business, and the funds brought in from reprinting Borderlands via your donation will make it possible for us to take on big projects and exciting new authors that would otherwise strain our available funds to the limit. Also unlike many other publishers, Aunt Lute Books is a registered 501c3 organization; though some funds are generated through the sale of our texts, to achieve our mission we also provide a number of free community events and donate books to prisons, schools, and libraries. As other sources of funding become scarce and the need for relevant technology increases, we are relying on your support to fund this reprinting campaign, which maintains the mission of our press beyond Borderlands.
::Yeah, but what does that actually mean in dollars?::
$9,800: This amount reflects about 1/5 of our total printing and production costs for this text. We have already applied for and received grants to cover a portion of the costs. We are asking for additional support to ensure we are able to fully meet our printing and production goal, turn a profit on this text, and re-invest that money into further community projects.
$200. A smart phone! Yes, we are publishers; we appreciate the fine, old art of the printed word. However, handwriting credit card receipts for book purchases at conferences and events simply will not do. As we bring all of our texts (including Borderlands) to the public, we need new technology to help us meet our clients’ needs as well as our own.
Aunt Lute Books is a nonprofit multicultural women’s press based in San Francisco. For nearly thirty years, we have been publishing literature that voices the perspectives of women from a broad range of communities. We have published a number of well-known feminist and lesbian authors, including LeAnne Howe, Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, Judy Grahn, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker. Aunt Lute is priviledged to have published the first full length books by Howe, Gunn Allen, Anzaldúa, and Lorde.
Aunt Lute Books was started in 1982 in Iowa City by Barb Wieser and Joan Pinkvoss, who believed that neither mainstream publishing nor the feminist movement of that time was promoting the voices of lesbians, especially lesbians and women of color. In 1990, Aunt Lute became a separate nonprofit under the umbrella of the Aunt Lute Foundation with the intention of creating a culturally diverse collective of staff, interns, and board members to address the lack of presses run by women of color. Through Aunt Lute’s internship program, recent college graduates are given intensive training into the world of publishing and assistance in job placement and graduate school applications.
Aunt Lute titles include the first U.S. collection of Filipina/Filipina American women writers (Babaylan), the first collection of Southeast Asian women writers (Our Feet Walk the Sky), as well as a number of translated texts (most recently Rosa Montero’s Beautiful and Dark). Our bestsellers include Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza and The Cancer Journals: Special Edition, titles used in classrooms throughout the U.S. and around the world.
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