Promoting Literacy and Underrepresented Voices
Published on: 08/25/14
This summer Natalia Gutiérrez-Jones ’16 traveled to Pasadena, Calif., to explore the world of publishing through an internship with Red Hen Press, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy in local schools and publishes work by underrepresented groups. The self-designed internship was sponsored by Haverford’s John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Gutiérrez-Jones, a comparative literature major with a minor in Spanish, did coursework last spring that focused on the representation of non-heterosexual relationships in literature throughout history. When planning for the summer, Red Hen Press caught her eye because it promotes diversity in literature through two smaller imprints. Arktoi Books publishes fiction and poetry by lesbian writers; Boreal Books publishes art and literature from Alaska. Gutiérrez-Jones was also excited by the possibility of working with a small press, which would allow for greater involvement than a major publishing house.
Her internship this summer took place in the Red Hen Press development department, where she worked to try to expand the organization’s base of support by reaching out to potential new funders. In addition, she organized data collected by the department in order to streamline their grant application process.
“The entire staff is supportive and driven, and the small size of the organization makes for great collaboration across departments,” says Gutiérrez-Jones, who found that many other interns shared her career interests and were going through similar stages in life. “Our conversations have been eye-opening and inspiring,” she says.
—Sam Fox ’14