Cune Press was founded in 1994 to publish thoughtful writing of public importance. Our name is derived from “cuneiform.” (In Latin cuni means “wedge.”) 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 inter-meshing of individual efforts in trade and commerce.
Cuneiform enabled scholarship to exist, 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.
At Cune Press, we ask our writers and readers to think independently, to exercise logic, and to test their conclusions against the data. We ask them to take a fresh approach to entrenched problems and traditional left-right debates. We eschew political correctness and favor insightful pragmatism.
Many Cune Press titles foster an appreciation of the peoples and cultures of the wider world, including the Middle East as well as subcultures within the US. We are especially interested in the struggles of very small businesses, especially those that sketch an era, a social group, and a location within the US.
Other Cune titles are literary work, primarily nonfiction by West Coast authors. Cune has also developed a number of education titles that are useful for home schooling and appeal to students of writing and art. It's our fond hope that our "practical" titles will cover the costs of our "literary" titles.
After twenty-five years of operation, Cune Press prides itself in having published work that we loved . . . rather than hewing to the rigid commercial and scholarly categories that govern "factory-produced" books. For us, a book project needs to be exciting: intellect, intuition, art. Otherwise, what is the point? As a way to earn money, book publishing (at any scale) has its limitations. Our staff includes talented professional writers and editors who are working pro bono. Why? Because they believe in our mission.
In the Internet age, Cune is a throwback. We believe in the civilizing effect of book length writing and the impulse it gives to reason, and imagination. We value: The creative individual; collaboration between an author and an editor; books as well-crafted objects; intelligent readers.
Cune strives to create reader-friendly and elegant books with wide margins, ample leading (white space between lines), crisp typography, and engaging cover art.
You can support Cune Press by making a tax-deductible charitable donation to The Cune Project / Salaam Cultural Museum. Mail your check to: Cune-Salaam 3806 Whitman Ave N Seattle, WA 98103.