Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Ibrahim Ahmad is the editorial director at Akashic Books, where he has worked in various capacities since 2000. He teaches at the Wilkes MFA Low-Residency Creative Writing Program and Literary Publishing MA Program, leads frequent writing workshops, and is the cofounder, with Akashic publisher Johnny Temple, of Brooklyn Wordsmiths, an editorial and consulting program. In 2015 he was named one of four finalists for the inaugural Star Watch prize by Publishers Weekly, awarded to “young industry professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry.”

Johanna Ingalls is the managing editor and director of foreign rights at Akashic Books where she has worked for over two decades since being rescued from the music industry by Akashic publisher Johnny Temple. A graduate of Barnard College, she currently lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with her Norwegian Forest cat, Squid Lee Gato.

Susannah Lawrence is the director of publicity and social media at Akashic Books. She oversees Akashic’s Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, in addition to Akashic’s presence on Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Riffle. She is a graduate of New York University, where she completed an award-winning undergraduate thesis on censorship, memory, and women’s rights in contemporary Irish literature.

Aaron Petrovich has been working with Akashic Books since 2005, and is currently Akashic’s production manager, e-book developer, and associate editor. He was copublisher of Akashic Books’ short-lived Hotel St. George imprint, which produced his book The Session: A Novella in Dialogue. Aaron has written and performed short works of theatre in a variety of NYC venues including the Soho Rep, Improvised & Otherwise: A Festival of Sound and Form, the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Source, and the Estrogenius Festival.

Johnny Temple is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books. He won the 2013 Ellery Queen Award, the American Association of Publishers’ 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing; and the 2010 Jay and Deen Kogan Award for Excellence in Noir Literature. Temple teaches courses on the publishing business at Wilkes University and Wesleyan University; and is the Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which works with Brooklyn’s borough president to plan the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. He also plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including The Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Poets & Writers, and BookForum.

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