When producer Matthew Morgan met filmmaker James Spooner in 2002, they bonded over a common goal: to give a voice to thousands of young people fiercely identifying with alternative lifestyles formed around rock music and its many subgenres. Morgan, a visionary with 15 years in the music industry, instinctively understood that the rock music scene had powerful appeal beyond the stereotypical white audience; the passion was evident in hours of Spooner’s hand-shot video footage. The result: 2003′s Afro-punk, the seminal cult classic spotlighting Black Punks in America.

The very first AFROPUNK Festival debuted at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). It celebrated and unified the cultural cornerstones of AFROPUNK: music, film, skate culture, and most importantly, the AFROPUNK community. Described by the New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US,” the word AFROPUNK itself has become synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming, and unconventional, placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music.

Since 2008, the AFROPUNK Festival has been organized by Morgan and partner Jocelyn Cooper.  The AFROPUNK web magazine, dedicated to celebrating alternative culture and activism, reaches millions across social networks, and is spearheaded by Editor-in-Chief Lou Constant-Desportes. They are at work on an upcoming collection of photography on the AFROPUNK community.  AFROPUNK is based in Brooklyn, NY.

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Marcus Baram

Marcus Baram is a writer and journalist, whose work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Village Voice, New York Magazine, Vibe, The New York Daily News, and The New York Observer. He has worked as an editor at the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, the Huffington Post and Fast Company. He is based in Brooklyn, NY.

GIL SCOTT-HERON: Pieces of a Man

Patricia Romanowski Bashe

Patricia Romanowski Bashe, MSEd., BCBA, is a certified special education teacher, early intervention provider, and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Currently BCBA supervisor at a special-needs preschool, Romanowski worked for many years as senior education specialist at the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital, Stony Brook University. She is also the coauthor of twenty-three books and four national bestsellers. Her works range in topic from popular culture and celebrity autobiography to children’s issues, parapsychology/bereavement, psychology, and self-help. Before becoming a writer, she worked as an editor at Rolling Stone Press. She lives in Baldwin, NY. For more information see

ASPERGER SYNDROME: The Oasis Guide, Revised Third Edition: Advice, Inspiration, Insight, and Hope from Early Intervention to Adulthood


WE DON’T DIE: George Anderson’s Conversations with the Other Side

WE ARE NOT FORGOTTEN: George Anderson’s Messages of Hope from the Other Side

OUR CHILDREN FOREVER: George Anderson’s Messages from Children on the Other Side

LOVE BEYOND LIFE: True Accounts of Direct Personal Communication with the Other Side With Joel Martin

DREAMGIRL: My Life as a Supreme, with Mary Wilson

VANNA SPEAKS with Vanna White

THE TEMPTATIONS, with Otis Williams

 IF I CAN DREAM: Elvis’ Own Story, with Larry Geller and Joel Spector

SUPREME FAITH: My Life Beyond the Spotlight, with Mary Wilson

LA TOYA: Growing up with the Jacksons, with LaToya Jackson

A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES, with Annette Funicello

BEYOND UHURA, with Nichelle Nichols

TRULY BLESSED: The Teddy Pendergrass Story

THE TAE BO WAY, with Billy Blanks

DONNY OSMOND: My Life So Far, with Donny Osmond

YOU GET PAST THE TEARS: A Mother/Daughter Memoir of Love and Survival, with Patricia and Hydeia Broadbent

FIT HAPPENS: Strategies for Living a Healthier, Happier, Fitter Life, with Joanie Greggains

HELPING YOUR KIDS COPE WITH DIVORCE: The Sandcastles Way, with M. Gary Neuman

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHILDREN AND DIVORCE: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive, with Dr. Robert E. Emery


Michael Benson

Michael Benson is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and exhibitions producer. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, Art Forum, and other publications. His photography is shown internationally and he is the director of the award-winning film Predictions of Fire (1995) and the global road movie More Places Forever (2008). He is based in New York City.

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece

Nanocosmos: Visions of Inner Space
forthcoming from Abrams


Planetfall: New Solar System Visions
Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle

Beyond: A Solar System Voyage (for young readers)

Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes


Will Birch

Will Birch is a former drummer and songwriter with the Kursaal Flyers (1976 UK hit ‘Little Does She Know’) and The Records (1979 US hit ‘Starry Eyes’). During the 1980s he moved into record production, working with artists such as Any Trouble, Dr Feelgood, Billy Bremner, and the Long Ryders. Throughout the 1990s he wrote many articles for Mojo and other music magazines and in 2000 published his first book, No Sleep Till Canvey Island: The Great Pub Rock Revolution (Virgin Books). His Ian Dury: The Definitive Biography was published in 2010 (Pan MacMillan). He is currently writing a biography of musician Nick Lowe. He lives near London, UK.

Cruel To Be Kind: The Life and Music of Nick Lowe
Forthcoming from Da Capo

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Jenny Blake

Jenny Blake is an author, career and business strategist and international speaker. She has been featured on, US News & World Report, Real Simple magazine, and has spoken at major universities and top companies such as Columbia, TEDxCMU, Yale, Parsons, UCLA, Google, Intuit, KPMG and Best Buy. She worked at Google for over five years on the Training and Career Development teams, and since then has been running her own business for over three years. Jenny created her first website, Life After College in 2005 and released a book of the same name in 2011 that was featured in Target’s 2012 graduation display. Jenny is also the co-founder of an app called Lucent (@LucentApp) for people who are “meditation-curious.” She is based in New York City.

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One

Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want


Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton

Bill Brewster is a freelance writer, music consultant and DJ, specializing in dance music and football. He has worked for the British publications When Saturday Comes and Mixmag Update. His work has appeared in The Face, Mixmag, Muzik, Mail on Sunday, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Big Issue.

Frank Broughton is a freelance writer and editor, and author of the “Time Out New York Guide.” He has worked as an editor at iD, Mixmag US, and Blah Blah Blah, and his writing has also appeared in Details, HipHop Connection, Mixmag, NME, Rolling Stone, The Big Issue, and Time Out New York, where he was the founding Clubs Editor.

They ran, the world’s leading expert forum on back-catalogue dance music and through have published a series of books: The Disco Files, The Complete Boys Own, Raving ’89 and Catch The Beat. They also co-authored The Manual for the Ministry of Sound. While has closed, its contents are being reposted on Red Bull Music Academy Daily.

Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton are based in London. They are represented in association with Lucas Alexander Whitley in the UK.

The Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries

How To DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey


Kate Brown

Kate Brown  is Professor of History at UMBC.  She is the author of Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford 2013), which won seven prizes, including the Dunning and Beveridge prizes from the American Historical Association.  Brown’s A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004) was awarded the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize for the Best Book in International European History.  Brown’s most recent book Dispatches from Dystopia: History of Places Not Yet Forgotten was published in 2015. Brown is the recipient of many fellowships, including from the John D. Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for Humanities. She is presently a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and a Carnegie Fellow, currently writing a history of human survival and endurance in communities circling the Chernobyl Zone. She is based in Washington, DC.

Manual For Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future
forthcoming from W. W. Norton

Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

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E. Jean Carroll

E. Jean Carroll has written the celebrated monthly advice column “Ask E. Jean” for Elle magazine for over 25 years. She has been a contributing editor at Esquire, Outside and Playboy, and has written for Rolling Stone and GQ and other publications. She also received an Emmy nomination for her writing on Saturday Night Live. She lives in Warwick, NY.

What Do We Need Men For?
forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press

Mr. Right, Right Now!: Man Catching Made Easy

A Dog In Heat Is A Hot Dog, and Other Rules To Live By

Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson

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Ted Chapin

Ted Chapin is the president and executive director of Rodgers and Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, the chairman of the board of directors for the American Theater Wing and a member of the Tony Administration Committee. His theater credits include Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys, the CBS telecast of Twigs, starring Carol Burnett, and Neil Cuthbert’s The Soft Touch, among other shows. He has been involved with the Encores! series at City Center since its inception and sits on several arts boards. He lives in New York City.

Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies

Robert Christgau

Robert Christgau has been a rock critic since 1967. A longtime senior editor and chief music critic at The Village Voice, he has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Blender. He is currently a contributor at, and his record blog Expert Witness appears every Friday at Noisey. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NAJP senior fellowship at Columbia University, and a Ferris Teaching Fellowship at Princeton, he taught at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music from 2005 to 2016. He lives in New York City.

Writing About Music Is Writing First
forthcoming from Duke University Press

Is It Still Good To Ya: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017
forthcoming from Duke University Press

Going Into The City

Da Capo Best Music Writing 2007: The Year’s Finest Writing on Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Pop, Country, & More

Christgau’s Consumer Guide: Albums of the Nineties

Grown Up All Wrong: 75 Great Rock and Pop Artists from Vaudeville to Techno

Any Old Way You Choose It: Rock and Other Pop Music 1967-1973

Julie Clow

Julie Clow started her career as an instructional designer and quickly rose to become the chief learning officer of a training development company. She worked for Google for five years and focused on team effectiveness, leadership and management, and organizational culture. She now serves as the VP for Learning and Development for Two Sigma Investments. Julie holds a Ph.D in Behavior Analysis from Auburn University and currently resides in New York City.

The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellence for All


Broughton Coburn

Broughton Coburn has spent two of the past four decades in the Himalayas, working in development, conservation, writing and filmmaking. The organizations he has worked with include the Agency for International Development, the United Nations, the World Wildlife Fund and the American Himalaya Foundation. Coburn has appeared as an expert panelist on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and Day to Day, and has lectured at the Museum of Natural History in New York, The National Geographic Society, the Telluride Mountain Film Festival and many other venues around the U.S. A graduate of Harvard University, he is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. Coburn currently lives in Jackson, WY.

Run For Your Life: How to Run, Walk, and Move Without Pain or Injury and Achieve a Sense of Well-Being and Joy, with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella
forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf

The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest 

Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge and Hope, from the American Himalayan Foundation edited by Broughton Coburn

Touching My Father’s Soul
by Jamling Norgay with Broughton Coburn

Triumph on Everest: A children’s Biography of Edmund Hillary

Everest: Mountain Without Mercy

Aama in America: Searching for the Sacred

Nepali Aama: Portrait of a Nepalese Hill Woman


Charles R. Cross

Charles R. Cross is the author of eight books including Heavier Than Heaven, his biography of Kurt Cobain, which won the ASCAP Award for Outstanding Biography in 2002. Cross was editor of The Rocket from 1986 through 2000, chronicling the rise of the Northwest scene during the heyday of Grunge. He has written for hundreds of newspapers and magazines, from Rolling Stone to The Times of London. He lectures at colleges on journalism and pop culture, and is often on radio and television as an expert in the field. He lives near Seattle, Washington.

Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll by Ann and Nancy Wilson with Charles Cross

Led Zeppelin: Shadow Taller Than Our Souls

Cobain Unseen

Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix


Art Cullen

Art Cullen is co-owner with his older brother John of The Storm Lake Times, a 3,000-circulation twice-weekly newspaper in Storm Lake, Iowa, pop. 10,000, in rural Northwest Iowa. Art is editor and John is publisher. Art also works with his wife, Dolores, who is a feature writer and photographer at the paper, and son Tom, who is a general assignment reporter. They publish staff editorials every edition. Art is a Storm Lake native who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Storm Lake, Algona, Ames and Mason City, Iowa. In 2017, Art was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. He is based in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper
Forthcoming from Viking Press October 2018

Anthony DeCurtis

Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, where his work has appeared for more than thirty years. He won a 1988 Grammy Award for his essay accompanying the Eric Clapton box set, Crossroads, and he has three times received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music. He edited Present Tense: Rock & Roll and Culture and was co-editor of The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll and The Rolling Stone Album Guide. DeCurtis holds a Ph.D. in American literature from Indiana University and teaches in the writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New York City.

Lou Reed: A Life
Little Brown and Company 2017

The Soundtrack of My Life by Clive Davis with Anthony DeCurtis

Blues and Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer edited by Anthony DeCurtis

In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work

Rocking My Life Away: Writing About Music and Other Matters


Jim Dickinson Estate

Jim Dickinson was an American record producer, pianist, and singer. He fronted the Memphis, Tennessee-based super group Mud Boy and the Neutrons, and was a member of the Atlantic Records-contracted Dixie Flyers, among others. During his extensive producing and recording career, Dickinson worked with Ry Cooder, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. Honored by local NARAS chapter with the Board of Director’s Governor’s Award in 1992, Jim Dickinson won Producer of the Year seven times before retiring his name from the competition. In 2012 Jim was inducted  into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural group of stars including Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King and Elvis. He launched Zebra Ranch, a family recording complex and home to his sons’ band, the North Mississippi Allstars, and both Dickinson and his sons were honored with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail in 2015. Dickinson died in 2009.

I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone

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Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco is a Grammy Award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, activist, and businesswoman. She has released more than 20 albums, and is one of the first independent musicians to create her own label, Righteous Babe Records (based in Buffalo, NY). She is widely known as an activist and feminist icon, and the Righteous Babe Foundation supports causes ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility. DiFranco has received eight Grammy Award nominations, and won the Best Recording Package Grammy for the album Evolve in 2004. She received the Woody Guthrie Award, as well as the Woman of Courage Award by the National Organization of Women. She is the author of two books of poetry, Verses (Seven Stories Press, 2007) and Self-evident (Minimum Fax, 2004). She is based in New Orleans.

Untitled Memoir
forthcoming from Viking Press

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Dave DiMartino

Dave DiMartino is a past editor of CREEM, a former West Coast Bureau Chief of Billboard, senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, and later executive editor of LAUNCH and Yahoo! Music. He is the author of Singer Songwriters: Pop Music’s Performer-Composers, from A to Zevon and Do It Again: The Steely Dan Years, consultant editor of Moonlight Drive: The Stories Behind Every Doors Song, and U.S. editor of Music In The 20th Century. His writing has appeared in Mojo, Musician, Rolling Stone, Spin and the Village Voice, among other publications. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Banning Eyre

Banning Eyre is a respected broadcaster, journalist, musician and radio/film producer, and author of the highly acclaimed In Griot Time, An American Guitarist in Mali (Temple University Press 2000). Over 25 years, Eyre has researched music and culture in Mali, Congo, Morocco, Egypt and beyond. He is based in Connecticut.

Lion Songs:Thomas Mapfumo and the Music That Made Zimbabwe

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Jim Farber

Jim Farber wrote his first piece for Rolling Stone when he was 17 years old and he has been writing about music ever since. For 25 years, he served as Chief Music Critic of the New York Daily News. Since leaving in the fall of 2015, he has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Yahoo! Music, Mojo and many other publications. He was a contributor to The Rolling Stone Book of the ’70s, and the Rolling Stone Rock Encyclopedia. Farber is a two time winner of the Deems Taylor-ASCAP Music Award. He is based in New York City.

Georgia Freedman

Georgia Freedman is a food and travel writer. She is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, where she has written about everything from the best dim sum in Hong Kong to making tamales. She has also written for Afar, Lucky Peach, Real Simple, Roads and Kingdoms, and other food and travel publications including Saveur magazine, where she was previously the managing editor and worked with some of the best writers and editors in the food world. She is based in the Bay Area.

Cooking South of the Clouds:Recipes and Stories From China’s Yunnan Province
forthcoming from Kyle Books

The Chocolate Room Cookbook                                    

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Ben Fong-Torres

Ben Fong-Torres began writing for Rolling Stone in 1968, and joined as news editor in 1969. He contributed to the magazine for 23 years and was portrayed as himself in the Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous. Fong-Torres, who also served as a weekend DJ on KSAN radio in San Francisco from 1970 to 1981, has written for dozens of magazines including Esquire, GQ, Parade, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure, MOJO, and Harper’s Bazaar. He is the radio columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and has won three Emmy awards for his work on television. He lives in San Francisco.

Willin’: The Story of Little Feat

Eagles: Taking It To The Limit

Grateful Dead Scrapbook: The Long, Strange Trip in Stories, Photos and Memorabilia

The Doors

Becoming Almost Famous: My Back Pages in Music, Writing, and Life

Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio

The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese-American from Number Two Son to Rock & Roll

Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons

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David Fricke

David Fricke has been a music journalist for more than forty years. He has been a senior writer for Rolling Stone since 1985, is the host of The Writer’s Block, a weekly radio show on Sirius XM satellite radio, and is a three-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism. Fricke has written liner notes to CD reissues by the Velvet Underground, Metallica, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, among others; he was nominated for a Grammy award for his essay in the 2006 boxed set, There Is a Season, by the Byrds. He is a frequent contributor to the British magazine MOJO, was the American correspondent for the British music weekly Melody Maker for nearly two decades, and has appeared in numerous music documentaries.

Elysa Gardner

Elysa Gardner covered music and theater as a reporter and critic at USA Today from 2000-2016. She has also been a senior critic at Rolling Stone, “Night Life” columnist for The New Yorker and a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and VH1, where she provided on-air reviews and commentary. She has written for the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, American Theater, Out, Town and Country and Vibe, and appeared on NPR and such programs as Good Morning America, The Today Show and The O’Reilly Factor. She is a board member of the Drama Desk and served on the jury for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in drama. She lives in New York City.

Richard Gehr

Richard Gehr has been writing about music, books, film, television and other aspects of popular culture for more than two decades. He edited artists such as David Lynch and Gary Panter at the Los Angeles Reader in the ‘80s, and has published scores of articles about comics for Artforum, Metropolis, and The Village Voice. He also has written for Rolling Stone, Blender, Vibe, O, The New York Times Book Review and Spin, and has contributed to several books. He is based in New York City.

I Only Read It For The Comics: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists

The Phish Book


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Nelson George

Nelson George is an award-winning author, filmmaker, television producer and critic with a long career in analyzing and presenting diverse elements of African-American culture. He has been a columnist for The Village Voice and Billboard and has written for a range of magazines such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Playboy, Esquire and Essence. He has received two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his magazine writing and his books have been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Before Columbus Foundation. As a filmmaker George has co-written the screenplays to Strictly Business and CB4, and directed Queen Latifah to a Golden Globe in the HBO film Life Support, which he also co-wrote. He has directed a number of documentaries including Finding the Funk (VH1), The Announcement (ESPN), and Brooklyn Boheme (Showtime). His theatrical documentary on ballerina Misty Copeland is called A Ballerina’s Tale.  He is a writer/producer on The Get Down (Netflix), and directed The Real MVP movie (Lifetime). Nelson does most of his work through his production company, Urban Romances. He is based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

D Hunter Mystery Book Five
forthcoming from Akashic Books

To Funk and Die in L.A.: A D Hunter Mystery

The Lost Treasures of R&B: A D Hunter Mystery

The Plot Against Hip Hop: A D Hunter Mystery

The Accidental Hunter: A D Hunter Mystery

The Hippest Trip In America:

Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style

Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson

City Kid: A Writer’s Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success

Da Capo Best Music Writing 2008: The Year’s Finest Writing on Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Pop, Country & More

The James Brown Reader: Fifty Years of Writing About the Godfather of Soul
edited by Nelson George and Alan Leeds

Post-Soul Nation: The Explosive, Contradictory, Triumphant and Tragic 1980s as Experienced by African-Americans (Previously Known as Blacks and Before That Negroes)

Life and Def: Sex Drugs, Money, and God
by Russell Simmons and Nelson George

Hip Hop America

The Death of Rhythm and Blues

Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies

Buppies, B’boys, Baps and Bohos: Notes on Post-Soul Black Culture

Elevating the Game: Black Men and Basketball

In Living Color: The Authorized Companion to the Fox TV Series

Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones

Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound

Night Work: A Novel

Show & Tell

One Woman Short: A Novel


Urban Romance

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Holly George-Warren

Holly George-Warren was the director of Rolling Stone Press, the book packaging arm of the magazine, for eight years and produced over 40 titles, several bestsellers and several of which won ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards. She has written three children’s books and a number of works about the West and has served as a consultant for the Grammy Museum in L.A. and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland. She also consulted on several documentary films and has written for a number of publications such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Redbook, More, Entertainment Weekly, MOJO, the Oxford American and others. She teaches courses on popular music and arts writing at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and SUNY-New Paltz. Among the recordings she has produced, RESPECT: A Century of Music by Women was nominated for a Grammy in 2001. She is based in Phoenicia, NY.

Janis: The Life and Music of the Queen of Rock                                                   forthcoming from Simon & Schuster

A Man Called Destruction: The Life & Music of Alex Chilton from the Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man

Rock In Fashion with John Varvatos

Bonnaroo: What, Which, This, That, The Other

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years

Grateful Dead: 365

Public Cowboy #1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry

Punk: 365

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll

The Working Woman’s Guide To Managing Stress

Musicians in Tune: 75 Contemporary Musicians Discuss the Creative Process

How The West Was Worn: A History of Western Wear


Richard Goldstein

Richard Goldstein is a commentator on popular culture and its relationship to politics and sexuality. He is widely regarded as the founder of rock criticism. For many years, he was the executive editor of The Village Voice, and his work has also appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, New York magazine, The Nation, Harpers, Artforum, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, and Tikkun. He has been a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NY1, C-SPAN, ABC (“Nightline”), and NPR (“All Things Considered”). Goldstein is an adjunct professor at Hunter College, where he currently teaches courses in popular culture and in understanding the 1960s. He is based in New York City.

Another Little Piece of My Heart

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Jane Gottesman

Jane Gottesman was a sports staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle prior to curating the national “Game Face” book and exhibition. She has worked for ABC Sports as a writer, researcher and associate producer on the series A Passion to Play, and “Women in the Game” segments on Wide World of Sports. She is based in New York City and Berkeley, CA.

Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?

Robin Green

Robin Green is a TV writer/producer known for her work as an Executive Producer and writer for The Sopranos on HBO.  She is also known for creating, with her husband Mitchell Burgess, the CBS drama Blue Bloods, now in its seventh season. She has won four Emmys, as well as several Golden Globes, two Peabodys and a Writers Guild Award, with many nominations for Emmys and WGA awards. She has been an editor at Rolling Stone and California Magazine, and has written for The Boston Real Paper, City Magazine of San Francisco, Ms. Magazine, and the L.A. Times, among others. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and regularly lectures and speaks on panels across the country. She is based in New York City.

The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone
forthcoming August 21st, 2018 from Little Brown & Company

Shirley Halperin

Shirley Halperin is the music editor at The Hollywood Reporter and news director at Billboard. An established magazine editor, writer and frequent television commentator, she has worked at Entertainment WeeklyRolling Stone, US Weekly and High Times and has appeared on MTV, VH1 and E!. She is based in Los Angeles.

American Idol: Celebrating 10 Years (The Official Backstage Pass)

Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide
with Steve Bloom

Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life
with Steve Bloom


Elizabeth Hess

Elizabeth Hess wrote on art throughout the 80′s and 90′s for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The New York Observer, Art News, Art in America and Artforum, among many other publications. Her essays have appeared in collections and catalogues around the world. She began writing about New York’s shelter animals for the Voice and New York Magazine and has written articles and columns on animals for dozens of newspapers and magazines ranging from Bark to The London Telegraph. Her book Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human became Project Nim, a film directed by James Marsh (Man on Wire) and produced by Simon Chinn. Hess divides her time between New York City and Upstate New York.

Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human

Lost and Found: Dogs, Cats and Everyday Heroes in a Country Animal Shelter


Jewly Hight

Jewly Hight is a music journalist and critic. She is an NPR/NPR Music contributor and her work has also appeared in The New York Times,, Slate, Billboard, The Oxford American, and numerous other outlets. She won the inaugural Chet Flippo Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism in 2015 and is the author of Right by Her Roots: Americana Women and Their Songs. She is based in Nashville.

Janet Hopson

Janet Hopson, an award-winning science writer, has authored and co-authored numerous science titles, including Get Fit, Stay Well!, The Nature of Life, Essentials of Biology, and Scent Signals: the Silent Language of Sex. She holds an M.A. in Science Writing from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Newsweek, Science News among many others. She lives in northern California.

The Magic Trees Of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions form Birth to Adolescence
with Marian Diamond

Bill Ivey

Bill Ivey is a writer, teacher, nonprofit executive, and long-time public servant. He is Senior Research Fellow with Americans for the Arts, a Washington-based arts advocacy group, and Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University.  He is past-president of the American Folklore Society and today serves that organization as Senior Advisor for China.  Ivey served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in the Clinton-Gore administration, and was team leader for arts and culture in the Barack Obama presidential transition.  In 2002 he became founding director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, and since 2001 has been a trustee of the Center for American Progress, a Washington “think-tank.” Ivey is also a four-time Grammy nominee, and has produced and written television shows for the CBS and PBS networks. He is a lecturer and consultant whose clients include the Ford Foundation and other leading nonprofits. He is based in Nashville, Tennessee and Calumet, Michigan.

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Folklorizing America: Rebuilding an Enlightened World
forthcoming October 19th, 2018 from Indiana University Press

Handmaking America: A Back to Basics Pathway to a Revitalized American Democracy

Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights

Booker T Jones

Booker T. Jones is a prolific musician who started his career with Stax Records in the 1960s. As the keyboardist for the Memphis-based quartet Booker T. & the MGs, he performed R&B and funk hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam & Dave, and, as the house band for Stax Records, helped define the sound of Southern soul music. Booker T and the MG’s are also known for original hit singles like “Green Onions,” and for being one of the first integrated instrumental groups. In 1992, Booker T. and the MGs were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they received a Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Throughout his career, Booker T. Jones has worked with a remarkable variety of musicians, from Neil Young to Willie Nelson, from Soul Asylum to the Roots, and has had an indelible impact on the evolution of American music.

Time is Tight: A Booker T. Jones memoir Forthcoming from Little, Brown & Company

Laura Joplin

Laura Joplin, PhD, is an author and educator. Her training programs for college faculty were supported by the U.S. Department of Education. She has worked as an Executive Coach for Western Management Corporation, in Denver, CO. She currently helps coordinate the Estate of her sister, Janis Joplin. Her biography, Love, Janis inspired the successful Off-Broadway stage play of the same name. Laura is based in Northern California.

Love, Janis

Michael Lang

Michael Lang co-created and produced the original 1969 Woodstock. His organization has produced shows for hundreds of artists including the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan and has managed various artists. He is a board member of the Woodstock Film Festival and the Felix Foundation for Adoptees, and is based in New York City.

The Road to Woodstock: From the Man Behind the Legendary Festival

Alan Leeds

Alan Leeds is an American music executive, tour manager, production manager, writer and archivist best known for his work organizing performances and concert tours for artists such as James Brown, Prince, D’Angelo and Chris Rock. Leeds received a Grammy Award for Best Album Notes in 1992 for his work on the James Brown compilation “Star Time.” Leeds also penned the liner notes for the 1993 Prince box set “The Hits/The B-Sides,” and co-wrote The James Brown Reader with Nelson George. He is based in New York City.

The James Brown Reader: Fifty Years of Writing About the Godfather of Soul edited by Nelson George and Alan Leeds

Diane and Bernie Lierow

Diane and Bernie Lierow live outside of Nashville, Tennessee. The story of their daughter, Dani, was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the St. Petersburg Times.

Dani’s Story: A Journey From Neglect to Love
by Diane and Bernie Lierow with Kay West

Alan Light

Alan Light has appeared as a music and culture expert on numerous television and radio programs, and was the director of programming for Live from the Artists Den, a concert series on PBS. As former editor-in-chief of Spin and Vibe magazines as well as the founder and editor of Tracks, Light has written for countless publications. A former senior writer at Rolling Stone, he won two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his work. Light wrote WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?: A Biography (Crown 2016), the oral history of The Beastie Boys, THE SKILLS TO PAY THE BILLS (Three Rivers 2005), and edited THE VIBE HISTORY OF HIP HOP (Crown 1999) the New York Times bestseller TUPAC SHAKUR (Crown 1997). He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Rolling Stone and hosts the SiriusXM music talk channel VOLUME. Light is based in New York City.

Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black
forthcoming October 2018 from Smithsonian Books

What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography

Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain

The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”

My Cross to Bear
By Gregg Allman with Alan Light

The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys

Kurt Loder

Kurt Loder is a longtime film critic, music journalist and television presence and the author of I, Tina, with Tina Turner, and a collection of his work from Rolling Stone where he was an editor for nine years. He was an anchor and correspondent for MTV News, as well as the writer and host of MTV’s The Week in Rock for more than a decade. He currently writes about movies for Reason Online and has also guest-starred as himself in numerous films. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Details, New York Magazine, and Time. He currently lives in New York City.

The Good, the Bad, and the Godawful: 21st Century Movie Reviews


Kim MacQuarrie

Kim MacQuarrie is a writer, a four-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, and an anthropologist. He is the author of four books on Peru and lived in that country for five years. During that time, MacQuarrie lived with a recently-contacted tribe of indigenous Amazonians called the Yora. MacQuarrie currently divides his time between the U.S. and Peru and is directing a 3D IMAX film. He is represented in association with Lucas Alexander Whitley in the UK.

Life and Death in the Andes

Last Days of the Incas

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Evelyn McDonnell

Evelyn McDonnell is the assistant professor of Journalism and New Media at California’s Loyola Marymount University and was a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her cultural criticism has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Interview, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Vibe and The Los Angeles Review of Books. McDonnell is a former pop music critic for The Miami Herald and senior editor at The Village Voice and associate editor at the San Francisco Weekly. She is based in San Pedro, California.

Women Who Rock
forthcoming from Black Dog & Leventhal

Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways

Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids, and Rock & Roll

Army of She: Icelandic, Iconoclastic, Irrepressible Bjork

Rent: The Book

Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop and Soul co-edited with Ann Powers


Kembrew McLeod

Kembrew McLeod is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has published and produced several books and documentaries about music and popular culture, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Slate, Salon, SPIN, MOJO and Rolling Stone. Kembrew’s documentary Copyright Criminals aired on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens series, his 2007 book Freedom of Expression® received an American Library Association book award, and his 2014 book Pranksters received a “Best of the Best Books You Should Know About” designation from the American Association of University Presses. He recently was awarded a National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Fellowship to support his next book, The Pop Underground: Downtown New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock ’n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture, which builds on research done for his book on Blondie’s Parallel Lines in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series. He is based in Iowa City.

The Downtown Pop Underground: New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock ’n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture
forthcoming October 2018 from Abrams Books

Blondie’s Parallel Lines (33 1/3)

Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World

Cutting Across Media: The Politics of Appropriation and Interventionist Collage with Rudolf Kuenzli

Creative Licence: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling with Peter DiCola

Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property


Dennis McNally

Dennis McNally received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Desolate Angel, his thesis, became a biography of Jack Kerouac published by Random House in 1979. It brought him to the attention of Jerry Garcia, who tapped McNally to be the band’s official biographer in 1980. McNally assumed publicist duties in 1984 and worked for the organization until 2008. His most recent book, On Highway 61, was awarded an ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thompson award. He lives in San Francisco.

Jerry On Jerry: The Unpublished Jerry Garcia Interviews
On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

A Long Strange Trip: The Inside Story of the Grateful Dead

Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America

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Paula Mejia

Paula Mejia is an arts and culture critic and journalist. She is the author of a book about The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy for Bloomsbury Press’s 33 1/3 series (October 2016). Her work has appeared in The Criterion Collection, NewsweekThe New York Times, NPR and Vulture. She has served on panels about music, digital archiving, film and journalism at South By Southwest, the Experience Music Project, the Mezipatra Film Festival and the New Museum, respectively. She is based in Brooklyn, New York.

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Joan Morgan

Joan Morgan is an author and cultural critic who coined the phrase “hip-hop feminism”. Morgan has been a widely sought-after lecturer and commentator on hip-hop and feminism. An award-winning journalist, a provocative cultural critic, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice and has been published by Vibe, Interview, Ms., More, Spin, and numerous others. Formerly the executive editor of Essence, she’s currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University and is based in New York City. Morgan is at work on a book about Lauryn Hill’s iconic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, forthcoming from Atria Books.

She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
forthcoming August 7, 2018 from Simon & Schuster

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down



Robert K. Oermann

Robert K. Oermann is an award-winning multimedia music journalist. He writes weekly columns for Music Row magazine and has been published in more than 100 other periodicals including Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, TV Guide, The Tennessean and USA Today. Oermann is also a TV and radio script writer/director for dozens of national productions. His honors and awards include the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, the Media Achievement Award from the Country Music Association, Country Music People’s International Media Award, Goldmine’s Best Historical Writer, and SESAC’s Journalistic Achievement Award. He has authored eight books and penned liner notes for more than 100 albums and boxed-sets. Oermann has lectured on popular music, journalism and country music at many colleges and universities, and lives in Nashville with his wife and co-author Mary A. Bufwack.

Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Takes of Romance and Tragedy

Little Miss Dynamite: The Life and Times of Brenda Lee by Brenda Lee and Julie Clay with Robert Oermann

Finding Her Voice: Women in Country Music with Mary A. Bufwack

The Century of Country: An Illustrated History of Country Music

America’s Music: The Roots of Country

Robert Palmer Estate

Robert Palmer was the first chief pop music critic for The New York Times, a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, and his articles have appeared in many other publications. Few music writers have been as influential as Robert Palmer, who throughout his long career proved himself an authority in jazz, blues, rock, punk, avant-garde and world music criticism, discovering new artists and scenes years (sometimes decades) ahead of fashion. An author of several books, he taught American music at Yale, Bowdoin, the Smithsonian Institution, Brooklyn College, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Mississippi. Robert Palmer died in 1997.

Blues and Chaos: The Music Writings of Robert Palmer edited by Anthony DeCurtis

Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History

Dr. Sheri Parks

Dr. Sheri Parks is an award-winning professor in the American Studies Department at the University of Maryland and cultural critic for Midday, an NPR cultural analysis program. A well-known speaker and public intellectual, she has been quoted in many national publications and has appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and other shows. She often joins with four other African-American academics as Critical Front, which performs multi-media presentations in a non-academic forum. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is based outside of Baltimore, Maryland.

Fierce Angels: Living With a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman

Patricia Pearson

Patricia Pearson is an award-winning author and the recipient of three National Magazine Awards, the Arthur Ellis Award for best nonfiction crime writing, and a North American Travel Journalism Association award. Her commentary has been published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New York Times, More, The Globe and Mail, The Daily Telegraph and Business Week, among other publications, and she has also been writing for National Public Radio. In 2003, she was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, Canada’s version of the Mark Twain prize. She lives in Toronto.

Opening Heaven’s Door: Investigating Stories of Life, Death, and What Comes After

A Brief History of Anxiety: Yours and Mine

Area Woman Blows Gasket: And Other Tales from the Domestic Frontier

Believe Me

Playing House

When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence


Bruce Porter

Bruce Porter has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Newsweek and other publications. A retired professor from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, he is currently a visiting professor for the Bard College Prison Initiative and lives in New York City.

Snatched: From Drug Queen to Informer to Hostage–A Harrowing True Story

Blow: How a Small-town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

Ann Powers

Ann Powers is the music critic for NPR. She was pop music critic for The New York Times for almost ten years, and chief pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times for six years. She was a senior editor for The Village Voice, an editor and writer for the San Francisco Weekly, and her work has appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, and Vibe. Powers also was a curator at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. She is based in Nashville.

Good Booty: Sex and Love, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music
Dey Street/HarperCollins 2017


Da Capo Best Music Writing 2010: The Year’s Finest Writing on Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Pop, Country & More, editor

Tori Amos: Piece by Piece

Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America

Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop and Soul
co-edited Evelyn McDonnell

Parke Puterbaugh

A writer for Rolling Stone magazine for twenty-five years, and frequent contributor to Sound + Vision, Outside, and Men’s Journal, Parke Puterbaugh is also the author of numerous travel books, one of which earned an award from the Society of American Travel Writers in 2004. He has worked as a writer and editor for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum since its inception and co-edited I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era for the museum. He lives in Greensboro, N.C.

Carolina Beach Music
forthcoming from The University of North Carolina Press

Phish: The Biography

Amy Rigby

Amy Rigby is a songwriter, musician and performer best known for her album Diary Of A Mod Housewife and Little Steven’s Underground Garage favorite track “Dancing With Joey Ramone”. She was part of late 70’s downtown NYC no wave nightspot Tier 3 and played in bands the Stare Kits, Last Roundup and The Shams before beginning her solo career. For the last twenty years she has toured the US, Canada, UK and Europe, appearing on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, PBS’s Speaking Freely, World Cafe, Whad’Ya Know, All Things Considered, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Marc Riley Show and Mountain Stage. She lives with her husband and sometime duet partner Wreckless Eric in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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Suze Rotolo Estate

Suze Rotolo was an artist based in New York City. She died in February 2011.

A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties

Ben Sandmel

Ben Sandmel is a New Orleans-based journalist, folklorist, drummer, and producer. He is the author of Zydeco!, a collaboration with photographer Rick Olivier. He has played on and produced four albums, including Boogie Bill Webb’s Drinkin’ & Stinkin’ and the Hackberry Ramblers’ Grammy-nominated Deep Water. Since 1996 he has produced the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, the interview and oral history venue at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Musicology at Tulane University and is based in New Orleans.

The Emperor of New Orleans: The Surreal Saga of Ernie K-Doe

Sylvie Simmons

Sylvie Simmons was born and raised in London. In the late ’70s she moved to L.A to become the correspondent for UK rock weekly Sounds and write for US magazine Creem. In the ’90s she lived in France and wrote Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful Of Gitanes. Her articles, essays and stories have been featured in numerous books, newspapers and publications including The Times, The Guardian, The Mirror, Rolling Stone, The Independent, The Radio Times, Harp, Blender, San Francisco Chronicle, Americana, and Mojo, and has received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. She has compiled or authored liner notes for artists ranging from David Bowie to Emmylou Harris, Leonard Cohen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and has appeared in several radio, television, and film documentaries. Simmons is currently based in San Francisco.

I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

Too Weird for Ziggy

Michael Sragow

Michael Sragow is film critic for Film Comment, a programmer for The Criterion Channel, and the curator of the Moviegoer series for the Library of America. He edited the Library of America’s two volumes on James Agee’s fiction and nonfiction writing  Produced and Abandoned: The National Society of Film Critics Write on the Best Films You’ve Never Seen. A former movie columnist for Salon and film critic for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Boston Phoenix, The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Weekly, The Baltimore Sun, and the Orange County Register, The Atlantic and The New York Times, he is based in Los Angeles. 

Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master

Robin Stone

Robin Stone has worked in magazine, newspaper and Internet publishing for fifteen years. Formerly the editor-in-chief of as well as the executive editor for the magazine, she has also worked at The New York Times, Family Circle, The Boston Globe and The Detroit Free Press. She lives in New York City.

My Times in Black and White by Gerald Boyd edited by Robin Stone

No Secrets, No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse


Ned Sublette

Ned Sublette writes about music, culture, and politics in the Afro-Atlantic world. A 2005-2006 Guggenheim Fellow, he has written for The New York Times, The Miami Herald, The Nation, Counterpunch, World Policy Journal, Vibe, Tracks and Island and is the author of Cuba and Its Music: From The First Drums To The Mambo, which won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 2005. He received the Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship in 2010-11 from the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Well known as a singer-songwriter, his songs include Willie Nelson’s 2006 hit “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other),” and his albums include Cowboy Rumba (Palm Pictures) and the forthcoming Kiss You Down South. Also known for his achievements as a record and radio producer, he produced many episodes of the public radio program Afropop Worldwide beginning in 1990. That same year he co-founded Qbadisc, the record label that pioneered contemporary Cuban music in the United States in the early ’90s. He lives in New York City with his wife and collaborator Constance.

The American Slave Coast: From Chesapeake and Carolina to New Orleans and the Deep South with Constance Sublette

The Year Before the Flood: Music, Murder, and a Homecoming in Louisiana

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

John Swenson

John Swenson has been writing about popular music for over 45 years, specializing in writing about the music of New Orleans; many of his articles have won press club awards and have been anthologized. He was a syndicated music columnist for more than 20 years at United Press International and Reuters, and has published 14 books and has worked as an editor for Crawdaddy, Rolling Stone, Circus, Rock World, and OffBeat magazine. He also edited several classic reference books for Rolling Stone Press. Additionally, he has appeared on NPR, SIRIUS radio and New Orleans’ WWOZ and is a guest lecturer at Tulane University. He splits his time between Brooklyn, New York and New Orleans.

New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans

Switched on Pop

Nate Sloan is a musicologist, performer and educator based in New York City. He received his PhD from Stanford University and currently teaches at Fordham University. Nate is host of the music podcast Switched on Pop and a pop music panelist on Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) Radio’s Day 6. Nate is also an award-winning performer and composer. His two-man vaudeville act “The Gideon and Hubcap Show” has played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at the Soho Theatre in London, and Nate composed the score for the 2014 SXSW Short Doc prize film Slomo.

Charlie is the co-host of Switched On Pop, a songwriter and longtime musical collaborator with his co-host Nate Sloan. Charlie also works in the humanitarian sector, serving as the Director of Product Management at Ushahidi, which builds crowdsourcing software to help people raise their voice. Previously, Charlie worked for Google and where he worked on internet access software and infrastructure projects to bridge the digital divide in the developing world. He also co-founded Runa, a social enterprise tea company that works with over 2,000 indigenous farming families.

Switched on Pop is a biweekly podcast on Slate’s Panoply network analyzing contemporary pop music. It has been listed as a top music podcast by NPR, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, Christian Science Monitor, AV Club, and Chicago Reader. Switched on Pop has been cited, and Charlie and Nate have appeared as experts, in The Atlantic, VICE, Houston Press, Fuse, The Stranger, OZY, Portland Mercury, and Billboard. Journalists, musicians, composers, musicologists and philosophers have all appeared as guests on the show.

Author’s Website

John Szwed

John Szwed is director of the Center for Jazz Studies and the Professor of Music and Jazz Studies at Columbia University in New York; he is also the former Musser Professor of Anthropology, African American Studies, Music and American Studies at Yale University. His writing has frequently appeared in The New York Times and The Village Voice. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Anthropology and he currently lives in Philadelphia.

Harry Smith: A Biography
forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth

Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World

So What: The Life of Miles Davis

Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz

Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra


Paul Trynka

Paul Trynka was the editor of MOJO, working at the magazine from 1996-2004. He has also worked for Q, The Guitar Magazine, and International Musician. The author of many books on popular culture, he lives in London.

Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones

David Bowie: Starman

Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed


Jessica Vitkus

Jessica Vitkus is an award-winning television producer and writer. Her work has appeared in Domino, Slate, Elle, Martha Stewart Living and InStyle. Jessica produced for MTV News and Specials, wrote for Pop-Up Video and DL Hughley Breaks the News, wrote and produced field segments for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She co-wrote MTV teen dramady My Life As Liz. And more recently Jessica executive produced the Too Cute series for Animal Planet and Double Divas for Lifetime. She is based in New York City.

Moregasm: Babeland’s Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex By Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning



Elijah Wald

Elijah Wald has been a musician since childhood and a writer for more than twenty years, having written for periodicals such as the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Tower Pulse, Songlines, Sing Out, and Living Blues, and The Boston Globe, where he served as the world music critic throughout the 1990s. He has written a number of books including Narcocorrido: A Journey Into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas, Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, and The Mayor of Macdougal Street: A Memoir by Dave Van Ronk. Having won a Grammy in 2002 for the album notes to The Arhoolie Records 40th Anniversary Box, for which he was also nominated as a producer, Wald has produced several albums and recorded two of his own, and has taught and lectured at numerous universities. He holds an interdisciplinary PhD in sociolinguistics and ethnomusicology, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his writing, including an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award and an American Musicological Society award. He is based in Philadelphia.

Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties             

The Dozens: A History of Rap’s Mama

The Blues: A Very Short Introduction

How The Beatles Destroyed Rock & Roll: An Alternative History of Pop Music


David Wild

David Wild has been a contributing editor to Rolling Stone for two decades. A former editor and writer for Esquire, he has been active in writing and producing for television – his credits include working on the Grammy, Emmy and Oscar award shows and he was nominated for an Emmy for America: A Tribute to Heroes. He has written liner notes essays for dozens of artists including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Randy Newman and others. Wild has also appeared frequently as a pop culture commentator on shows for Bravo, A&E, MSNBC, VH-1 and MTV, and has lectured on pop culture at dozens of universities around the county. He lives in Los Angeles.

Everybody’s Brother by CeeLo Green with Big Gipp and David Wild

Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me by Brad Paisley with David Wild

He Is…I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond

Heart Full of Soul: An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way by Taylor Hicks with David Wild

Friends: The Official Celebration of All Ten Years

The Showrunners: A Season Inside The Billion-Dollar, Death-Defying, Madcap World of Television’s Real Stars

Seinfeld: A Totally Unauthorized Tribute…Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

Friends: The Official Companion

Sue Williamson

Sue Williamson is the founding editor of, the leading online magazine on contemporary art in South Africa, and regularly contributes to international art journals. A published author and practicing artist herself, her work has been exhibited in institutions such as the Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of African Art, Washington, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

South African Art Now


Chris Willman

Chris Willman is an author and the former music critic for Entertainment Weekly magazine and The Wrap/Reuters. He is currently a regular contributor to TV Guide, as the beat writer for the NCIS franchise, as well as Yahoo!’s featured breaking music news blogger. His reviews and features have appeared in Parade, Rolling Stone, New York, Spin, People, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, AARP, The San Francisco Chronicle, Paste, Relix, The Men’s Book,, and his work has been selected for the annual Best Music Writing book series. He has also provided liner notes for boxed sets and CD packages from Steely Dan, the Dixie Chicks, Randy Newman, T Bone Burnett, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, George Jones, and Steve Taylor. He lives in Los Angeles.

Rednecks and Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music

Douglas Wolk

Douglas Wolk is the lead graphic novel reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and has written about graphic novels and comics for Time, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Print magazine, among others. Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean won both of the comics industry’s major awards: the Will Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book and the Harvey Award for Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation. His comics include the 2014 miniseries Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two), as well as a Kindle Single about comics culture (Comic-Con Strikes Again!). Wolk teaches comics writing at Portland State University, lectures, and has moderated panels at most of the major American comics conventions, including Comic-Con International San Diego, New York Comic-Con, Emerald City Comic-Con and Rose City Comic-Con. He has been awarded the Getty/USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Fellowship and a Mid-Career Fellowship with Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism Program. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

All of the Marvels: What I Learned from Reading 25,000 Superhero Comic Books
forthcoming from Penguin Books

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean

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Jocelyn C. Zuckerman

Jocelyn C. Zuckerman is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Fast Company, The American Prospect, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. She served as deputy editor at Gourmet, articles editor at OnEarth, and executive editor at both Whole Living and Modern Farmer magazines. An honors graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism School, she is the recipient of a James Beard Award for feature writing and of numerous fellowships, including the Alicia Patterson Fellowship in 2016. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.

Planet Palm: On the Trail of the Little Fruit that Conquered the World
forthcoming from The New Press