Raptor Editing & Press
Raptor is a publishing house, book design studio, and editorial team consultation service based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. It was founded by Tara J. in Spring of 2015, and has grown into a collaborative bookmaking studio centered around cultivating nourishing spaces and opportunities for writers and artists of color. Each Raptor book is lovingly designed, printed, bound, and stitched by consenting adult human hands.
At the heart of Raptor is the Headspace Anthology series, for which we solicit work. We also make books on commission, for which we are actively seeking new collaborators.
In every project, Raptor prioritizes accessibility, ethical integrity, and generating income for all artists involved in making and launching the books. 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.
It is also vitally important that arts workers feel that they are supported and well paid for their work. So much of the burden of changing non-profit and arts admin culture is on the shoulders of staff, and Raptor is committed to providing support for BIPOC folks working to get artists and writers paid for their art. Through this effort, Raptor provides Editorial Team/Board Consultation services for staff seeking to make working in the arts more inclusive and supportive.
Tara J. | Founder, Producer, Editor-In-Chief
Tara Jayakar grew up in a suburb of Chicago. She has a BA from Boston University, and MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Alongside building Raptor, they’ve bartended, walked dogs, and worked in non-profit publishing, poetry organizations, and record stores.
Most recently, they were the Senior Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets, where she was a member of the Poem-a-Day editorial team, managing and curating the Guest Editor program. They also managed, edited, and produced several issues of American Poets Magazine, a print publication that goes out to the Academy’s over 9,500 person membership base. She built, assigned, and edited content for Poets.org; managed permissions for poems, interviews, and essays to be hosted on the site; grew and maintained the curated database of poet biographies; produced, assisted with, and hosted virtual and in-person events; trained interns and staff; copyedited all Academy-produced newsletters, press releases, and announcements; and project managed the Academy’s annual Poetry Coalition programming, among numerous daily tasks.
Her first publishing gig was at 826CHI, a non-profit creative writing and tutoring center in Chicago for students grades K-12, project managing and publishing their fourth Compendium anthology of student work from start to finish. After moving to Brooklyn in 2014, Tara started Raptor Editing, worked on two books as the Special Editorial Projects Intern at the Academy of American Poets, and became the 2015-16 Diana and Simon Raab Editorial Fellow for Poets & Writers Magazine.
While at Sarah Lawrence, Jayakar co-directed the 15th Annual Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival, the largest student-run poetry festival in New York state. As part of the festival’s free program of events, she laid out and designed a chapbook with a poem from each of that year’s featured readers, including Nicole Sealey, Chen Chen, Tyree Daye, Patrick Rosal, Angel Nafis, Mai Der Vang, Rajiv Mohabir and more.
Sara M. | Head of Marketing & Communications
Sara Munjack holds an MFA from Rutgers-Newark and currently works at Four Way Books. She manages social media for several clients such as Martín Espada and Raptor Press. Her poems have been featured in Cosmonauts Avenue, Pigeon Pages, BOAAT, Gandy Dancer, ISO Magazine, and tele-art mag, with work forthcoming in Grist Journal and The Common. You can find her at sarabellamunjack.com.