Parneshia Jones, Nothwestern University Press editorial director for trade and engagement since 2019, has been named director of the press on Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, Ill., effective September 21. She replaces Jane Bunker, who moved to Cornell University Press in March. Jones will be the 127-year-old press's first African-American director, and will be one of two Black women who are university press directors currently serving nationwide; Stephanie Williams was named director of Wayne State University Press in Detroit last month.
Jones will report to Northwestern University’s Dean of Libraries, Sarah M. Pritchard.
Since interning during college at Chicago’s Third World Press, Jones has spent her entire 18-year publishing career at NUP, beginning with an entry-level position in the marketing department in 2002 and working her way up to sales manager. Jones added editorial responsibilities to her marketing position and was named NUP poetry editor in 2012. Jones’ first acquisition, Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney, won a 2011 National Book Award. Jones herself is a published poet: Milkweed Editions published her collection, Vessel, in 2015; it received a Midwest Book Award.
“I am so grateful to come full circle at Northwestern University Press,” Jones stated in a release. “My love for the literary world started within the mahogany walls of Third World Press, and my continued apprenticeship in publishing has been guided and supported by Northwestern, my brilliant NUP colleagues, and the unwavering publishing community. In the words of Gwendolyn Brooks, ‘We are each other’s magnitude and bond.’ I step into this role deeply humbled by the magnitude of these special bonds.”
A previous version of this story contained an error concerning the age of Northwestern University Press, which was founded in 1893; it has been corrected.