From Marthe Reed, Skip Fox, and Anny Ballardini to all authors, translators, editors, scholars, and readers of fine literature:
As you may well have already heard, the University of New Orleans Press has just recently been put on "hiatus" and its innovative and energetic editor, Bill Lavender, fired. The presumptive reason concerned budget constraints, but in fact the Press was cost free, and gained UNO a significant reputation for the past five years (since Bill Lavender’s tenure). It also published an international range of writers, many of them prize winners or otherwise notable. As you are probably aware, Bill Lavender had taken a rather lifeless creature in 2007 and enlivened it with over 80 publications, a remarkable achievement.
In support of UNO Press, Bill Lavender, fine literature and good reading, please consider signing a petition indicating your support. The petition has many more details concerning the recent (5-6 day) history of events.
Sign the petition here: Petition Site
There was a significant item in The Times Picayune and one in Inside Higher Ed in the past few days, as well as this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
You may also wish to pass this information on to other writers through a blog, facebook, etc., or even write personal letters to the President and Provost of UNO:
Provost Louis Paradise
President Peter Fos