Beacon Press: Beacon Press Staff
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Beacon Press Staff

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Helene Atwan, Director: Helene has been director at Beacon since 1995. 

Maya Fernandez, Assistant to the Director


Helene Atwan, Director: Helene has been director at Beacon since 1995. She previously held positions at Random House, Knopf, Viking, FSG, and Pocket Books. She acquires in narrative nonfiction, memoir, and general nonfiction, with a special interest in public health and legal issues. Titles include:

  • Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home by Anita Hill
  • In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate by Nancy Gertner
  • White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine by Carl Elliott
  • Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health by Dr. Gil Welch
  • The Tyranny of the Meritocracy by Lani Guinier
  • Fugitive Days and Public Enemy by Bill Ayers
  • What Doctors Feel by Dr. Danielle Ofri

Gayatri Patnaik, Editorial Director: Gayatri, previously an editor at both Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge, has been at Beacon Press over fourteen years and has published authors including Cornel West, Kate Bornstein, Marcus Rediker and Mary Frances Berry. She acquires in US History, with a focus on underrepresented history, including African American, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian American. She’s interested in issues of race/ethnicity, class, gender and immigration, and created Beacon’s award-winning ReVisioning American History series. Gayatri signs memoir, edits LGBTQ titles in Queer Action/Queer Ideas (with Michael Bronski) and developed books in The King Legacy, a series about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Joanna Green. Her new series, edited by Melissa Harris-Perry and Jeanne Theoharis, is Stride Toward Justice: Confronting Race, Gender & Class in the United States. Recent noteworthy acquisitions include:
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award

Read a Publishers Weekly profile on Gayatri. Follow her on Twitter at @gpatnaik1.

Amy Caldwell, Executive Editor: Amy Caldwell has been at Beacon Press since 1995. She acquires in religion, with a special emphasis on interfaith issues; the relation between politics, culture, and religion; and how Americans live out their religious beliefs. She also acquires in science and society, as well as narrative nonfiction/memoir. Titles include:
  • Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel
  • The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boy’s Club by Eileen Pollack
  • The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann
  • The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria
  • Do It Anyway by Courtney Martin
  • The New Wild and When the Rivers Run Dry by Fred Pearce
  • Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder by Enrico Gnaulati
  • The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease by Jonathan Metzl
  • The Tricky Part and All the Rage by Martin Moran

Rakia A. Clark, Senior Editor: Rakia joined Beacon Press in May 2015 and works from New York City. Since beginning her career in 2002, she has worked as an editor, ghostwriter, researcher and writing coach. She has held editorial posts at HarperCollins, Viking and Kensington Publishing Corp., where she worked on books by Native American historian Joseph Campbell, WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, and former Bush political advisor Karen Hughes, among many others. Rakia acquires in media, technology, sports, criminal justice, biography/memoir, race, and class. Recent acquisitions include:
  • Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America by Stacey Patton
  • Strung Up: The Lynching of Black Children in America, 1880-1968 by Stacey Patton
  • War Games: Sports, Patriotism, and Protest in Post 9/11 America by Howard Bryant
  • The Last Shackle: Harm, Healing and Redemption in Wrongful Conviction Cases by Lara Bazelon
  • From Memes to Movements: The Memes, Pun and Selfies Behind the World’s Most Powerful Social Movements, from #BlackLivesMatter to the #UmbrellaMovement by An Xiao Mina
  • A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks by Angela Jackson
  • Bootstrapping: How Millennials Are Building the New Innovation Economy by S. Craig Watkins

Joanna Green, Senior Editor: Joanna Green has been at Beacon Press for ten years and previously worked for New Moon Magazine. She acquires books with an emphasis on social justice in the areas of economics/business, law and society, sports, disability, and activism. Titles include:
  • Billionaires’ Ball: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality by Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks
  • Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis by James W. Russell
  • Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love by Fran Hawthorne
  • Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America by Sheryll Cashin
  • Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights by Lennard Davis
  • Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX by Ginny Gilder

Jill Petty, Senior Editor: Jill Petty has worked in publishing for fifteen years, and joined Beacon in June 2015. She served as an editor-publisher for South End Press—working with Noam Chomsky, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, bell hooks, INCITE: Women, Gender Non-Conforming, and Transpeople of Color, Arundhati Roy, and other authors—and as a researcher and editor for The Nation and Ms. Before joining Beacon, Jill was a writer-editor for Equal Justice Initiative, the Alabama-based legal nonprofit led by Bryan Stevenson. She is a writing instructor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a member of the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project teaching collective. Jill lives in Chicago, and acquires books in history (with a special interest in social movements and African American history); prisons/criminalization; health/social justice; and education. Recent acquisitions include:
  • You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones: And 20 Other Myths About Teachers and Teaching by Bill Ayers and Crystal Laura
  • How Chicago Won Reparations by Alice Kim and Joey Mogul
  • The Big Fix: Fighting Charter Schools and the Privatization of Education by Karen Lewis, Terrenda White, Raynard Sanders, and David Stovall
  • Stolen Horizons: Mass Incarceration and the War on Neighborhoods by Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Dan Cooper
  • Invisible No More: Racial Profiling and Police Violence Against Women of Color by Andrea Ritchie

Alexis Rizzuto, Contributing Editor: After teaching Creative Nonfiction for many years, Alexis Rizzuto started in the publishing business at the Kneerim & Williams literary agency, then moved to the editorial side at Da Capo Press before coming to Beacon Press, where she acquires books about the environment (energy, climate, food, nature, conservation). Titles include:
  • Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks by Michael Lanza
  • Harvest the Wind: America’s Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Stability by Phil Warburg
  • Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss among Vanishing Orcas by Eva Saulitis

Rachael Marks, Associate Editor: Rachael Marks joined Beacon Press in 2010 and acquires in education, with a special interest in educational equality and democracy; cultural environments of urban, suburban, and rural educational settings; issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. Titles include:
  • New York Times best seller For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Christopher Emdin

Will Myers, Associate Editor: Will Myers joined Beacon Press in 2010. He acquires for the nature and environment list, with a particular interest in books on environmental justice, climate, energy, conservation, and the intersection of race and the environment.

Melissa Nasson, Contracts Director, Acquisitions Editor: Melissa Nasson joined Beacon Press after finishing her law degree and interning at the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency and The Perseus Books Group. She is interested in acquiring books on a range of topics, including law and society and women’s issues.

Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, Editorial Assistant


Tom Hallock, Associate Publisher, Director of Sales & Marketing: Tom joined Beacon in 1996 after holding executive positions in sales and marketing at Farrar Straus and Giroux, Simon and Schuster and Aperture.  He is a former bookseller and was the manager and buyer for the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA. Follow him on Twitter at @TomHallock.

Kennia Joseph, Assistant to the Associate Publisher

Alyssa Hassan, Senior Marketing Manager: Alyssa joined Beacon in 2006 after five years at South End Press. She has also worked with Z Magazine, Dollars and Sense, and other progressive non-profit organizations on book design and web-based outreach. She is a graduate of Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @alyssahassan.

Emily Powers, Associate Marketing Manager: Emily joined Beacon in 2016 after three years at Cornell University Press. Previously, she worked as an intern at the UN Refugee Agency and Harvard Common Press. She is a graduate of Le Moyne College. Follow her on Twitter at @emilykpowers.

Christian Coleman, Digital Marketing Associate: Before joining Beacon in 2015, Christian worked in writing, copy editing, and marketing positions at Sustainable Silicon Valley and Trikone. He graduated from Boston College and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Follow him on Twitter at @coleman_II.


Pamela MacColl, Director of Communications: Prior to joining Beacon in 1999, Pam held posts at Random House, New American Library, Scribner's, and Macmillan. She served as a publicity consultant to St. Martin's Press, Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Bernie Illson Public Relations.

Caitlin Meyer, Publicity Manager: Caitlin worked at Facing History and Ourselves as Public Relations and Communications Manager before joining Beacon in 2008. She is a graduate of Emerson College.

Nicholas DiSabatino, Publicist: Nicholas graduated from Kent State University and has an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. He joined Beacon in 2012.

Perpetua Charles, Publicity Assistant: Perpetua Charles joined Beacon Press in June 2015. She is a graduate of Florida Southern College and earned her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College 2015.


Marcy Barnes, Production Director

Susan Lumenello, Managing Editor

Beth Collins, Production Manager

Daniel Barks, Reprint and Digital Production Manager
: Daniel joined Beacon in 2013 with extensive indie bookstore background having worked in management at both Left Bank Books in St Louis and Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.


Bob Kosturko, Creative Director

Louis Roe, Assistant Designer


Clifford Manko, Chief Financial Officer

Greg Kanter, Director of Business Operations

Jill Dougan, Business Finance Associate

Wesley Updike, Business Operations Assistant