Cune Press was founded in May, 1994, to explore innovative ways of bringing superior writing to public attention. We are a press. Our name is derived from “cunieform.” (In Latin cuni means “wedge.”)
Scott C. Davis
The founders include Scott C. Davis, a freelance writer who was a conscientious objector during Vietnam and served as a social worker in Fulton, an old, working class neighborhood of Richmond, Va. After the Civil war, recently freed slaves moved from the southern Virginia countryside to Fulton. They took jobs with the B&O Railroad, began to make payments on their own homes, and joined Mt Zion Baptist, Calvary Temple, and other churches. Their disciplined lives were their "art" and were also a political statement.
Davis published The World of Patience Gromes: Making and Unmaking a Black Community with the University Press of Kentucky. In 1987, looking for a new writing project, he had traveled alone in a Syria that was still recovering from the massacre in Hama, five years earlier. His book The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria was the first travelogue by an American in Syria for over a century. Currently he is polishing a new book on Syria and is pondering a book on Vietnam.
Dr Mamoun Sakkal
Dr Mamoun Sakkal is a licensed architect, an interior designer, a PhD in Middle East history, a world class calligrapher who has won international competitions in the Kufic style Arabic script, and a typeface designer who works for Adobe and Microsoft. Sakkal also creates exquisite art that begins with calligraphy using a traditional brush and ink and ends with sophisticated computer rendering. Sakkal was born in Aleppo in northern Syria. Sakkal was the driving force behind the book "Visit the Old City of Aleppo" / "Explore the Old City of Aleppo" as the art director, calligrapher, and editor. (This title was written by Khaldoun Fansa and illustrated by Homs artist Abdalla Assad. For more: www.sakkal.com.
Steven Schlesser is a sincere conservative of a pragmatic orientation, who loves history - especially British history. His first book - The Soldier, the Builder & the Diplomat - explores Custer, the Titanic, and World War I. It grew out of his studies on the problem of avoidable failure: what happens when human character flaws overwhelm reason, good sense, and technology. Schlesser explores the ways that the international safeguards to prevent war in 1914 were no more effective than the advanced technical design that supposedly made the Titanic unsinkable. Custer, as Schlesser narrates, could have obeyed orders from the chain of command and waited "for the cavalry" (ie. the large force a few days behind him). But he rushed into battle - hoping to make headlines that would fuel his political career, specifically his bid for president later that year.
Schlesser's work-in-progress is the bittersweet story of the triumph and ultimate failure of the small business in the manufactured housing field that his father created and the two of them managed. Working Title: Triple Wide: From Silver Spoon to Trailer Trash. Find details at www.cunepress.com
Cune Press Ethos
In the ancient Near East the development of cuneiform script—simpler and more adaptable than hieroglyphics—enabled a large class of merchants and landowners to become literate. Clay tablets inscribed with wedge-shaped stylus marks made possible a broad intermeshing of individual efforts in trade and commerce.
Cuneiform enabled scholarship to exist and art to flower, and created what historians define as the world’s first civilization. When the Phoenicians developed their sound-based alphabet, they expressed it in cuneiform.
The idea of Cune Press is the democratization of learning, the faith that rarefied ideas, pulled from dusty pedestals and displayed in the streets, can transform the lives of ordinary people. And it is the conviction that ordinary people, trusted with the most precious gifts of civilization, will give our culture elasticity and depth—a necessity if we are to survive in a time of rapid change.