Jack Shoemaker, the well-known editorial figure and founder of Counterpoint Press, has started a new division with Avalon Publishing. Shoemaker & Hoard will publish many of Shoemaker's longtime authors, including Anne Lamott, Wendell Berry and Robert Aitken. Avalon publisher Charlie Winton will serve as chairman of the division; Shoemaker will serve as publisher; and longtime Shoemaker colleague Trish Hoard will be associate publisher.

Avalon will have a controlling stake in the venture, with Shoemaker and other investors also holding shares. Some authors—including Lamott and Aitken—are also investing in S&H. Hoard and Shoemaker will stay in Washington, D.C., handling editorial. Production, marketing and publicity functions will be managed by Avalon in New York.

Shoemaker described his mission as ambitious but delicate. "We want to strike a balance," he said, "between the known and the unknown. We want to publish Wendell Berry, and we want to find the new Wendell Berry." The publisher plans on about 25 titles per year—many of them originals—with about eight set for its inaugural list in the fall. Categories Shoemaker & Hoard will focus on include natural history, religion and fiction.

Shoemaker left Counterpoint when the imprint was absorbed into Basic Books by parent Perseus Book Group last April (News, Apr. 29). Winton, until recently head of PGW, distributed Counterpoint's books before they became part of Perseus. Shoemaker's son also works for PGW.

Avalon has its main offices in New York and Emeryville, Calif., with smaller operations in Seattle and, now, Washington, D.C. Winton said he hadn't settled on the exact future of Avalon, but he liked the idea of a constellation of offices with editorial sovereignty supported by central operations, much in the way Perseus operates. "It seems like a good model, so we're trying it on," Winton said. "There are a lot of variations we can play off of."