Exploring Space City!: Houston’s Historic Underground Newspaper


Edited by Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, Cam Duncan, and Sherwood Bishop

ISBN: 978-1-312-16267-9

New Journalism Project is proud to announce its new book, Exploring Space City!: Houston’s Historic Underground Newspaper. A companion to Celebrating The Rag published in 2016, Exploring Space City! is a 376-page exploration of Houston’s groundbreaking publication to be released December 7, 2021. In the words of historian Robert Cottrell, “This lovingly crafted compilation captures the spirit of the New Left and the counterculture.” Purchase the book at Lulu.com.

Space City! was an underground newspaper published in Houston from June 5, 1969 to August 3, 1972. Though it was relatively short-lived, the paper – which was continually under assault from the Ku Klux Klan – was widely acknowledged to be one of the very best of the ’60s-70s underground newspapers that had significant impact on mainstream journalism. Space City! covered news not otherwise reported and helped pull together a widespread and diverse countercultural and New Left community in Houston.

Exploring Space City! features both articles and artwork from the original Space City! as well as essays written specifically for the book by its editors and others, designed to look back on the historical importance of the paper and to add contemporary perspective. The original Space City! included coverage of Black, Chicano, and white activists, the police shooting of Black leader Carl Hampton, the war in Vietnam and the movement against it, and the women’s and gay movements. And the paper did in-depth power structure research on who rules Houston, and extensive coverage of the cultural scene with features on Janis Joplin and Muhammad Ali and more. And it’s all in the book.

Cleveland Maxwell’s Tales of the Alpha State

New Journalism Project Publishing is glad to announce its first science fiction book. Cleveland Maxwell’s Tales of the Alpha State is now available on Lulu.com and Amazon.

“[T]he first collection of his short stories and wild ramblings to have ever been published….for the large part a strange compilation of absurdity, attempts with words to tease the psyche of his readers, just as the Muse had teased him with the ideas. Some of the more serious stories are set in a field of subterranean humor which manifest themselves in strange, dreamlike forms….Maxwell himself would be the first to admit that the dream world, or ‘alpha-state,’ as he called it, was a guiding locus of his storytelling inspirations; hence the title to this compilation. 

But there is also a dark edge to some of the tales that border on the horrific.”

—from the introduction

Part of Living


New Journalism Project is pleased to announce the publication of a collection of poetry by Austin writer, Charlotte Herzele. These poems reflect the author’s rich and varied journey through life with keen observation, heartfelt grief, humor, and joy.  You can find the professor, the belly dancer, the Tarot reader, the loving partner, and the joyful grandmother on these pages. Above all, Charlotte’s words reflect her zest for living. The book is available on Lulu.com and Amazon.

Charlotte must be possessed of something special. Maybe it is the voice of a never lost child insider her soul that guides her and speaks to her of people and places and things. It manifests outwardly in beautiful lifestyle, love of family, and a spirit of generosity and kindness that sits alongside a dichotomy of wry humor, ready laughter, and sharp wit. Now, through her poems, that voice reveals itself to us and shares the wise secrets.

Kimmie Rhodes – Singer-songwriter, author of Radio Dreams.

Stories from Wimberley 1928-29


New Journalism Project is pleased to announce the publication of a new book available at Lulu.com.

Stories from Wimberley 1928-29 by Eleanor Jennings provides a glimpse into small town life in the Texas Hill Country in the last century.  Eleanor Jennings was eight years old when she moved to Wimberley.  Her stories are childhood memories of family gatherings, school, the Wimberley Square, and the natural beauty of Cypress Creek and Blue Hole. 

The author’s daughter, Ann de Rouffignac, compiled the stories, family photos, and historical photos that enhance the written words.  The author, Eleanor Jennings, died in 2019.  New Journalism Project is pleased to mark what would have been the author’s 100th birthday with the publication of her stories.

John W. Poe, an officer of the Wimberley Institute of Cultures, knows local history is familiar with Eleanor Jennings’ childhood home.  He writes:

Eleanor Jennings’ stories really make the history of Wimberley in the late 1920s come alive.  The Wimberley Institute of Cultures (WIC)… was fortunate to acquire and preserve the old Wimberley-Hughes House a few years ago.  Eleanor Jennings lived in the house at the time of her stories which makes them all the more special to us.

Peter Wray, the founder of Blue Hole Park, says:

I have been coming to Wimberley continuously since 1945 to a house my grandfather built.  It is just downstream on the Cypress Creek from the Rock House.  Eleanor Jennings’ stories bring alive the life in Wimberley in 1928 and 1929 and will be treasured by our entire family.

And Mike August, formerly with Houston’s Pacifica radio station KPFT, and more recently involved with Wimberley Valley Radio, provides this insight:

These stories show how much and how little Wimberley has changed over the years.

New Journalism Project is pleased to collaborate with the author’s daughter in the publication of these stories.  The book’s cover, designed by Carlos Lowry, features a Hill Country vista painted by a relative of the author.

Talkin’ Union: Texas Women Workers

More than four decades ago, an enterprising group of young independent historians produced a path-breaking book and documentary, Talkin’ Union. It featured one of the first scholarly accounts of the great San Antonio pecan sheller strike of 1938, amplifying the powerful but overlooked voice of lifelong organizer Alberta Zepeda Snid. It uncovered interracial unions among Black, white, and Mexicana women garment workers in Dallas, of all places, as well as their union sisters along the border—long before anyone had heard of maquiladoras. The rare oral history interviews and pioneering scholarly essays in this book have clearly withstood the test of time and will now bring the power of people’s history to a new generation of activists!

Professor Max Krochmal, author of Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era

NJP Publishing is proud to announce that Talkin’ Union:Texas Women Workers is now available for purchase at Lulu.com. Edited by Richard Croxdale and Melissa Hield with a preface by Glenn Scott, Talkin’ Union is the third book published by NJP Publishing as part of a 2019 series featuring women’s work, memoir, poetry and history. Talkin’ Union tells the groundbreaking story of Texas women pecan shellers and seamstresses who organized for economic and social equality in the ’30s. Researchers with People’s History in Texas relied on first-hand oral histories and extensive archival research to bring this history to life. The Pecan Shellers Strike is now acknowledged as an historic mass movement, the largest mass strike in Texas, and the foundation for Hispanic organizing for a generation.  The Texas garment workers who organized in the ’30s with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union have never received the attention they deserve.  Essays from 1979 about African American women and Chicanas in the Texas workforce capture the beginning of a sea change in women’s workforce participation that would soon transform women’s lives, family dynamics, and the U.S. economy. The material was available for limited distribution as a booklet in 1979, but has been published by NJP Publishing with a 2019 introduction to make this history available through online platforms. Talkin’ Union:Texas Women Workers can be purchased at Lulu.com and will be available soon through Amazon, Ingram, and Barnes and Noble.   

Echoes of Mercy: A soulful journey

This is no typical memoire. It isn’t, for the most part, about actions or accomplishments. And it’s definitely not about bragging. 

The structure isn’t typical, either. It doesn’t go from one thing, leave that and go to another. It unfolds the way human minds and souls unfold over time. It was created the way a painting is: sketches and washes, then loosely shaped forms, then clarifying hues and values, then detailed touches. The pattern is prose stories written in a flowing, personal voice — followed by poetic structures that meditate on the stories that were just told. The pattern repeats many times, with factual overlaps, like ocean waves. The poetry is loose and casual at first, but merges into sophisticated free verse.

But how Alyce Guynn has created this book is not as unusual as what the book says. She doesn’t offer the usual highly curated peek into her life. She escorts you down to the marrow of her soul as you follow her out of small-town, rock-ribbed, Baptist Texas into her own free life. 

She is a strong, smart, independent woman and has much to be proud of. Her spiritual journey is a common one, and I’m sure she knows that. In my own life, I am surrounded by people who have made such a journey. But there’s only one Alyce Guynn. And only one unique, remarkably open book that can make so many of us say “Yes! Yes! That’s what it was like!”

M. Phillips, April 2019

People’s History in Texas

photo of Emma Tenayuca at San Antonio pecan shellers strike.
Emma Tenayuca at San Antonio pecan shellers strike.

New Journalism Project is collaborating with People’s History in Texas (PHIT) to publish two new editions of previous works released by PHIT.  As a new generation of activists finds inspiration in the history of organizing in Texas before they were born, these books will resonate with new audiences.

Talkin’ Union: Texas Women Workers is in the final stages of production. This book was originally published under a different title in 1979 to accompany the Peoples History in Texas documentary, “Talkin’ Union.” The film and the book use oral histories and archival photos to tell the story of Texas women garment workers and pecan shellers who organized successful labor actions in the 30s.  The 1979 edition of Women in the Texas Workforce: Yesterday and Today was edited by Richard Croxdale and Melissa Hield with a preface by Glenn Scott. That earlier edition relies on workforce research and transcribed interviews with participants in the labor actions of the 30s. A new introduction by Richard Croxdale frames the material for new readers.

A second edition of another People’s History in Texas book is also in production. Clarksville: Whose Community? by Jennifer Sharpe was first published in 1982 and chronicles an important fight against gentrification in a west Austin neighborhood.  Clarksville was founded in 1871 as black freedom town where former slaves reunited with family separated and displaced by slavery.  In the late 70s, this community waged a battle against developers. This upcoming book will add to the history of gentrification in Austin.

About People’s History in Texas: PHIT’s first project in 1976 was the Women in Texas History Calendar, one of the first compilations of Texas women’s history facts.  PHIT’s research uncovered stories of women workers and activists who organized labor unions in the 1930s and l940s. With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Youth Grants Program and the Texas Committee for the Humanities, they collected oral histories of Texas women labor organizers and produced “Talkin’ Union” (1979, 58 mins., b/w film/video), an oral history of four women who participated in the pecan shellers and garment workers unions. PHIT published Women in the Texas Workforce: Yesterday and Today (1979), essays on women’s work for wages.

Peoples History in Texas (PHIT), a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 1975 by five women including a writer, an elementary school teacher, a librarian, and two graduate students.  PHIT brings to life the stories of ordinary people and significant socio-political movements through its research, publishing, and media production. 

Looking Glass

Looking Glass Poems by Alice Embree book cover

Alice Embree, Austin writer and activist, is a frequent contributor to The Rag Blog and collaborator on Rag Radio. She helped launch Austin’s underground newspaper, The Rag in 1966. With Thorne Dreyer and Richard Croxdale, Embree edited Celebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper in 2016. She has written for The Texas Observer and contributed to the 1970 anthology, Sisterhood is Powerful, edited by Robin Morgan.

In Looking Glass, Embree explores the intimate terrain of grief, the memory of an earlier Austin, and the joys and challenges of living a creative life. The author introduces the collection with these words: “I find that through the alchemy of writing, I’m able to disperse the fog and find the light.”

Looking Glass is the second in a series by NJP Publishing that will feature women writers. Looking Glass is available online at Lulu.com, Amazon, Ingram and Barnes and Noble, and is sold in Austin at BookWoman.

Echoes of Mercy: Psalms from the Marrow Bone

Echoes of Mercy by Alyce M. Guynn book cover

Echoes of Mercy: Psalms from the Marrow Bone by Austin author Alyce M. Guynn is richly layered poetry and prose.  Guynn, a reporter for the Austin American Statesman in the late 60s and an antitrust investigator, has a passion for writing.  A prolific poet, she has been a contributor to The Rag Blog and a guest on Rag Radio.  Her published work includes Deal Me In, a book of 52 love poems illustrated by Jesse ‘Guitar’ Taylor, a book of poetry entitled Beyond Blue: In Memory of Champ Hood and Feeding the Crow, a collection of poetry and prose.

Alyce Guynn’s memoir, Echoes of Mercy, lovingly records the language and rhythms of bygone, church-goin’ small-town Texas where Sunday lunch is called dinner, family members have nicknames like Toadie Mae and Aunt Sister, where caskets are left open, and teenagers swoon over Elvis, go the picture show, make out in old cars – and sometimes get ostracized as unwed mothers… — Sharon Shelton-Colangelo

Echoes of Mercy is the first in a series by NJP Publishing that will feature women writers.  Echoes of Mercy is available online at Lulu.com, Amazon, Ingram and Barnes and Noble.