UGA Press Announces Appointment of Two Editors-at-Large

Valerie Boyd (Credit: Jason Thrasher)
Cynthia R. Greenlee (Credit: Tim Coburn)

The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce the appointment of Valerie Boyd and Cynthia R. Greenlee as Editors-at-Large. Boyd and Greenlee will represent the Press in seeking book projects in a wide range of subjects, including foodways, gender, history, journalism, labor, politics, race, justice and the South, broadly interpreted.

Valerie Boyd is professor of journalism and nonfiction writing and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Georgia. Founder and director of UGA’s low-residency MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction, she is the author of the critically acclaimed Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. She has spent the past several years curating and editing a collection of the journals of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. Simon & Schuster will publish Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker in April 2022. She is currently editing the anthology Bigger Than Bravery: Black Writers on the Pandemic, Shutdown and Uprising of 2020 (also 2022). Former arts editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she has published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Bon Appetit, Oxford American, Essence and Atlanta Magazine. Boyd is senior consulting editor at Bitter Southerner magazine and serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Dr. Cynthia R. Greenlee is a James-Beard-award-winning independent historian, editor and writer based in North Carolina. She is currently senior editor at The Counter, a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on investigative journalism and the business, politics, and culture of food. She is co-editor (with Kemi Alabi and Janna A. Zinzi) of The Echoing Ida Collection (Feminist Press, 2021). Greenlee earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a doctorate in history at Duke University. Her work has been selected for Best American Food Writing and recognized in Best American Essays and has also appeared in publications as diverse as The Atlantic, Elle, Essence, Longreads, Literary Hub, The Nation, The New York Times, Oxford American, Scalawag, Smithsonian, Vice, Vox and The Washington Post. As an editor, Greenlee has occupied staff, consulting or contributing writer posts at Catapult, Rewire.News, Prism and Zocalo Public Square.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to work with Valerie Boyd and Cynthia Greenlee, who are absolute forces in the public square. Their impressive editorial records and visions complement the Press’ ongoing mission to publish exemplary, diverse scholarly and creative work,” said UGA Press Director Lisa Bayer. “Their editorial work will be supported in part by the Press’s Sarah Mills Hodge Fund, which underwrites publications in the areas of African and African American history, culture, and literature.”

“UGA Press has a long reputation of not only publishing rigorous, respected academic books but also of publishing strong fiction and nonfiction. I am delighted to join the team of editors responsible for bringing this diverse content to a wide range of readers. I am especially interested in amplifying the voices of talented Black writers and other writers of color in publishing factual literature—also known as literary nonfiction—and in championing innovative, hybrid forms,” said Boyd.

“I’ve spent much of my career at publications that continually punch above their weight, in their creativity and rigor, and that will continue with UGA Press. It’s a special pleasure to collaborate with a publisher whose topics and interests align so well with mine. As an independent scholar and journalist, it’s doubly important for me to do this work with an organization that values both academic and serious general interest titles,” said Greenlee. “I’m looking forward to cultivating new relationships and new books that challenge readers to think deeply and critically, even about events and places we think we already know, such as the U.S. South. If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in my dual role as journalist-historian, there’s always more to be written.”

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