Raptor is a press of community, and in centering authors and writers of color, the majority of whom are queer, we work hard to make sure that each of our authors are paid, even in some small part, for the work that they produce. Publishing is not a privilege—writers are a gift, and it is up to the publishing community to sustain the art that gives us life.
Your writing, your art, is of the body, and your body needs to eat.
Raptor produces a zine series every two years called Headspace. I solicit pieces, edit, and publish each issue largely by myself. Each issue hovers around the themes of belonging and community. MACK, our latest, is a book about kissing.
Our first stand-alone book, Hurricane Butterfly, is a collection of poems dedicated to the spirit of the late Pete Burns written by Cody Ross Romero and Kevin Salvaggio.
Tara J. | Founder, Producer, Editor-In-Chief
I got my start at 826CHI, a non-profit creative writing and tutoring center in Chicago for students grades K-12, working on their fourth Compendium anthology of student work. We provided a wide variety of services—field trips, after-school tutoring, in-school support—and whether the kids were 6 or 16, they would all leave our programs with a book in their hands.
After that, I packed up and moved to Brooklyn, where I walked dogs and worked on two books as the Special Editorial Projects Intern at the Academy of American Poets.
I was the 2015-16 Diana and Simon Raab Editorial Fellow for Poets & Writers Magazine. In my time there, I read and fact-checked every issue cover to cover, learning about the editorial process from a magazine and book publishing standpoint. I also worked with poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, publishers, and agents to create the Page One podcasts.
Currently, I’m getting my MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and occasionally working for the Academy as an independent contractor. I am Co-Director of this year’s Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival, the largest student-run poetry festival in the state. As part of our free program of events, I laid out and designed a chapbook with a poem from each of our featured readers, including Nicole Sealey, Chen Chen, Tyree Daye, Patrick Rosal, Angel Nafis, Mai Der Vang and more.