The Newbie Writers’ Podcast
Special guest: Erin Wiegand
Senior Editor for North Atlantic Books
On North Atlantic Books.
Founded in 1974, North Atlantic Books has been located in Berkeley, California since 1977. Over this period, North Atlantic has become a leading publisher of alternative health, martial arts, and spiritual titles.
Our mission is to affect planetary consciousness, nurture spiritual and ecological disciplines, disseminate ancient wisdom, and put forth ways to transmute cultural dissonance and violence into service. We have given voice to many new modalities of living and thinking about our world since the 1960s–ways to interrogate and rediscover diet, healing, mindfulness, psychotherapy, somatic and martial practice, and creativity. Our specific strengths are martial arts, bodywork, history of medicine, homeopathy, archaeo-astronomy, transdimensional realms, Eastern religion, diet and natural foods, live food, fine literature, and quirky aspects of pop culture. We publish widely and diversely, mixing commitments to our niches with broad-based general trade books. Although not our main rubrics, we publish environmental titles; graphic novels and comics; urban literature and detective novels; cookbooks; art books; sports books; and new perspectives in dance, film, and theater.
As an independent publisher, North Atlantic has sought cutting-edge titles that probe the forefront of consciousness and the cultural resonance of new (and often very old) systems. Our first successes were t’ai chi from renowned master Cheng Man-ch’ing, ecological anthropology, and baseball literature. Since then, North Atlantic has explored anomalies such as purportedly artificial Martian landscapes, elements of Amazonian shamanism, the HIV-AIDS connection, vaccinations, microdoses, crop circles, while also publishing political works on the Prison Industrial Complex, Al Quaeda, Terrorism, Abu Ghraib, and the Geneva Accord for Healing Israel-Palestine. We’ve also published teachings of Islamic Sufism, Jewish mysticism, Buddhism (Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, Tibetan, and Korean), and Vedanta. We address body and mind with a wealth of modalities, from Alexander work and Feldenkrais, to Reiki, Jungian psychology, shamanism, and craniosacral therapy.
As a rule we seek primary sources, founders of systems, and innovators. We favor direct experience, fresh language, and first-hand experience. We try to avoid knock-offs and derivations, books written first as marketing concepts, commodities, or exploitations of fads.
North Atlantic Books was incorporated in 1980 within the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The Society’s goals are to develop an educational and cross-cultural perspective that links scientific, social, and artistic fields; to nurture a holistic view of arts, sciences, humanities, and healing; and to publish and distribute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature.
I was sitting on the washing machine, keep the spin cycle under control when I noticed that one of the travel posters in the laundry room – depicting Hawaii, featured a toucan in the foreground.
Toucans are not native to Hawaii. Yet in the 18 plus years I’ve gazed at that pretty travel poster I hadn’t noticed the discrepancy.
What do you look at all the time and not notice? What do you think, now that you’ve focused?
Word of the Week
1. To murder by suffocation.
2. To silence or suppress.
3. To avoid or bypass.
After William Burke (1792-1829), who killed people to sell their bodies for dissection. His preferred method was smothering so as to leave the body unmarked and suitable for dissection. He was captured, hanged, and on the judge’s orders, his body was publicly dissected. Earliest documented use: 1829.
“When Logeto came in, the killer burked him. Logeto never made a sound.”
William Diehl; Hooligans; Villard Books; 1984.
Enlightened contemporary yet inviting interiors. A feast for the eyes!