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Fronteras: Conociendo 'Conocimientos Press' And Its Founder Josie Méndez-Negrete

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Author and professor emerita at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Josie Méndez-Negrete, is the founder of Conocimientos Press. | Credit: Josie Méndez-Negrete
Josie Méndez-Negrete
Author and professor emerita at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Josie Méndez-Negrete, is the founder of Conocimientos Press.

Independent publishers extend a hand to writers and poets whose works might not be considered marketable to a mainstream audience. These publishers take pride in being able to provide an outlet for underserved artists and writers whose voices are drowned out in the din of mass marketing.

A relatively new press in San Antonio emphasizes the voices of Chicana and Latina writers whose works cross the boundaries of race, ethnicity, class and gender.

Conocimientos Press was founded in 2017 by Josie Méndez-Negrete. Méndez-Negrete said founding her own press allowed her to open up a pathway for writers who would otherwise be turned away by mainstream publications.

“I think that an independent press allows for other ideas and other narratives to see the light of day without denial, rejection and all of the other things that happen when you're trying to get a publication out,” said Méndez-Negrete.

She has experience on both sides of the presses as the author of three nonfiction books, including “Las Hijas de Juan: Daughters Betrayed,” which explores incest within her working class Mexican-American family, and “A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia,” which details her son’s struggle with mental illness.

Fronteras: 'A Life On Hold: Living With Schizophrenia'

Méndez-Negrete believes getting her own works published was a retaliation against what she calls “the academy” — the restrictive publishing practices of traditional academia. She’s hopeful Conocimientos Press will provide more opportunities for other Chicana and Latina aspiring authors who narrate everyday life within culturally affirming accounts of struggle and resistance.

Fronteras Extra
Josie Méndez-Negrete talks about new and forthcoming publications on Conocimientos Press.

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren