Literary Salon: Brenda Knight

LEFT COAST WRITERS LITERARY SALON:  Brenda Knight, Publisher for Viva Editions, Cleis Press and Author of Women of the Beat Generation

Brenda Knight

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 || 7pm
Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

Our March salon speaker is Brenda Knight. Brenda is is a twenty-two-year publishing veteran, starting at HarperCollins, where she fell in love with publishing and had the thrill of working with major authors like Huston Smith, Paolo Coehlo, and Melody Beatti, whose Co-Dependent No More sold so well that she was able to talk her way into a job at HarperCollins.

From there, Knight went to Conari Press and helped build the Random Acts of Kindness phenomenon and added editing and acquisition to her skill set. She acquired books from Congresswoman Jacky Speier and Phil Cousineau. One of the highlights of the Conari experience for Knight was helping shape Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, which became Oprah’s favorite thing and a New York Times bestseller.

Knight has said, “I am grateful to have started in publishing at HarperCollins. I often told people that it was like getting paid to go to publishing school. After a few years, however, I realized I am not a corporate citizen, and I am more of an independent spirit. So Cleis Press, outliers from their founding in 1980, is perfect for me as a boundary pusher.”

Knight is also the author of Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award, and which Lawrence Ferlinghetti described as “the first time a writer has taken the trouble to really think about it, and dig out women who were on the set at the time.” She is also the author of Wild Women and Books and other tomes.  Knight volunteers for the American Cancer Society as a counselor for the newly diagnosed and leads writing workshops “Putting Your Passion on Paper” at the San Francisco Writers Conference, Book Passage, and East West in Mountain View.