Juneteenth Thoughts

We have so much to learn. Such a long way to go.

Black Americans, we see you. We hear you. And we honor you.

Corleone Brown, on Unsplash

We see your ancestors, who were taken from their homeland and enslaved with no rights for their own bodies, their own minds, their own substance. We see your fathers and mothers, who fought for basic rights and did their best; in spite of everything managed to create homes and businesses, music, beautiful art, families. Who lived and endured the unspeakable disrespect of an entire people during Jim Crow, during the civil rights movement, and who were beaten, abused, and killed by those who swore to protect all citizens.

Black Lives Matter.

Heather Mount, on Unsplash

We honor all of them. Our hearts break as we learn their stories. We are in awe of their strength, their presence, and perseverance.

Heather Mount, on Unsplash

And we are sorry for our contributions to their pain throughout history. It’s not enough to apologize, we must, we will continue to be anti-racist. We push back against intolerance and inequality.

Rom Matibag, on Unsplash

So often, it appears that there is so little we can do. But by using our privilege, holding space for those who need to be seen and heard, by listening and offering our hands and hearts, our work, and yes, our cash – sometimes, it helps.

Emmanuel Ikwuegbu, on Unsplash

We will continue to try to do more. We believe in freedom, for all, for each one. We celebrate black lives, black creativity, black fortitude, black art, black writing, black history, and so much more.

Nathan Dumlao, on Unsplash

We will continue to tear down the vestiges of white privilege, to shine the light on the erasure of history. Juneteenth was the day that all former enslaved people in the United States were finally freed. Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Here’s a small token of our gratitude, and our promise to continue to work hard, and fight hard, on behalf of ALL black lives.

In honor of Juneteenth, ALL of our currently available ebooks are FREE all weekend! (Preorders not included.)

Celebrate Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to recognize the achievements, contributions and sacrifices made by Black Americans and the numerous ways they have shaped America. To celebrate, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will be offering free virtual programming, including book discussions (with Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award Winner and Director, Boston University Center for Antiracist Research) and programs for young readers. The museum will also host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, in which participants will create and edit Wikipedia pages for Black STEM professionals, highlighting the community impacts they have made.

Image by James Eades on Unsplash

It’s a privilege to educate ourselves about racism instead of experiencing it. Let’s listen, learn, and join hands today and every day to end racism in our lifetimes. One way to start is by reading books by black and minority ethnic writers. We are actively seeking submissions in this category, and encourage anyone who has a story to tell to visit our Submissions portal.

Send us your words.

Books by black and minority ethnic writers at Propertius Press may be found in our Bookstore and wherever books are sold. Thank you for visiting!

Holiday week

As busy as we all have been this month, it’s no wonder the holidays crept up on us. However, it is our hope that you will be looking forward to a healthy, safe, and happy time with family and perhaps a few close friends. Here’s to quiet moments, and lots of reading.

Peace and blessings,

The Team at Propertius Press


Seasonal Sale!

We’re feeling pretty grateful for all of our amazing authors and patrons, so it’s time to give back! BLACK FRIDAY begins now and continues through CYBER MONDAY!

Go to WWW.VISITOURBOOKSTORE.COM and enter the Discount Code


at checkout for 15% off ALL BOOKS and FREE SHIPPING to US addresses! (Only $5 to everywhere else!)

2021 Short Story Anthology


image by nick fewings at unsplash.com

Every one of us has a love story within. Do you dare to share?
We are accepting submissions for the next Short Story Anthology! This collection, that takes its title from a line in Sextus Propertius’s Book I, Love Poems to Cynthia, evokes the mystery and tension of romance. Stories may evolve along a theme of romantic love, in all its rawness, oddity, and power, although this does not have to be the primary focus of the story.
We will make final selections for the Anthology by the end of April 2021. This collection is scheduled to be published in the summer of 2021. Winning authors will receive a free copy of the digital and print Anthology, discounts on additional copies, and a pro-rata share of the net proceeds from sales of the book, which will be available wherever books are sold.
When you’re ready, visit our Submittable form, and send us your words.

Poetry Anthology

We’ve made the decision to extend the deadline for submissions to our inaugural Poetry Anthology, Spheres and Canticles, from the end of this month to January 31, 2021. The anthology will be released in April, during National Poetry Month.

Please do check out our submissions portal, and send us your words!


Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay

Memorial Day in History

Originally known as Decoration Day, the event now called Memorial Day in the US first honored those who died in the American Civil War. It is widely believed to have sprung from the Appalachian tradition of cleaning family gravesites and decorating them with flowers, emblems, and memorabilia on a day set aside when the weather warms up in Spring. These events grew to include gatherings at the cemetery where families would sing, pray, and sometimes even serve a home-cooked picnic dinner among the graves. According to the US Veteran’s Administration, it was not until after World War I that celebrations on Memorial Day were expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. Congress declared the day a national holiday in 1971. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Quiet time by Selena Morar at Unsplash.com

This Memorial Day may be quieter than in former years. Solitude and reflection on the weighty cost of war are always appropriate. Perhaps we will want to have a quiet picnic with a book, read aloud in the soft space of time spent with a loved one or ancestor who has gone beyond: Communion of the highest order, we think.

There is a deeply meaningful memory set down by David W. Blight about the first Decoration Day, which happened in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. It was celebrated not by grieving Civil War soldiers’ widows, but by 10,000 free blacks, who affirmed their freedom and sense of belonging within the newly recreated United States; and because they felt it was the right thing to do, re-interred thousands of Union prisoners of war on an old racecourse, a classic symbol of southern wealth and privilege. Not surprisingly, when the annals of history are consulted, little record remains of this first celebration. Read more about this meaningful event and the brave individuals who conducted it here.


Freedom, of course, isn’t free. There will probably always be instances of one individual’s or group’s wish to dominate over another, or all the rest of us. Quiet, resilient, strong, and yes, stubborn resistance and dedication such as was shown by black men, women, and children in Charleston on May 1, 1865 may be, in the end, the most steadfast of struggles. By definition, it is also the most difficult to counteract, which makes it one of the best.

Violence is never the answer, as we all know. It’s a good time to remember this, as we honor those who went before, in their struggles for belief and protection of those beliefs. Let’s not give over to mindless celebrations vaunted by “giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President,” as Howard Zinn admonishes in his 1976 classic essay. He correctly states, “Let the dead of past wars be honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.”

So pack a basket, and take a book to the cemetery for a solitary meal with those who’ve gone before, and perhaps share a song and lay some flowers. Or we can read of peace, in quiet understanding, in our homes where those of us who consider such things important continue to self-isolate and care for our families. Here are a few ideas, including recent offerings, that in the coming weeks may help pave the way toward a different way of thinking about your brave new world.



Coming March 16: Like Soldiers Everywhere

Like Soldiers Everywhere - Final Cover4-web
Pre-order at $14.99“So what do you think of Israel?”

You just here for the summer?” David said. “What are you doing?”
“One month. I was in a kibbutz for two weeks and I’ve been touring. Next week I’m going home. This is my last stop.”
“So what do you think of Israel?”
“It’s very nice.”
“What do you do at home?”
“I’m at Ohio State. I’m going into my junior year.”
“You’re twenty?”
“Yes. How old are you?”
“I’m twenty too.”
“No, twenty, too.”
“I see.” It made her laugh. “When do you finish the army?”
“Next year.”
“Then what’ll you do?”
“I don’t know. Work, I guess.”
“At what?”
“I don’t know. With my hands, I guess. Fixing things.”

In this sweet novella by Fred Skolnik set in the 1960s, a young American coed and an American-Israeli soldier meet at a café in Jerusalem, enjoy each others’ company, and fall in love. Upon her return to America, they begin writing letters back and forth. Eventually they meet again. Their story is sweet, simple, and breathtakingly beautiful, but in the background, the unrest in Israel foreshadows and finally demands the ultimate sacrifice. This is a tragic love story set just before the Six-Day War involving two young Americans — and representing, in effect, the tragic end of the Zionist dream itself, perhaps too fragile in its purity and innocence to endure.

Like all of our books, this wonderful novella will be available on March 16, 2020, in both ebook and paperback, wherever books are sold.

Pre-order your copy of Like Soldiers Everywhere in our bookstore, and get the lowest price available, with free shipping

Fred Skolnik is the editor in chief of the 22-volume 2nd edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, winner of the 2007 Dartmouth Medal, and also the author of six novels, three under the pen name, Fred Russell. A collection of his short fiction, Americans & Other Stories, was published by Fomite Press in 2017. He lives in Israel.

Submissions sought: Black and Minority Ethnic

people-2442565_1280We are actively seeking fiction and non-fiction written by and about black and minority ethnic persons and issues, including children’s literature, essays,  memoirs, biography, creative non-fiction, poetry, and works that may not fit into any one genre. hijab-3434096_1280

Please send queries and synopsis through our Submittable portal at http://propertiuspress.submittable.com. Priority given to works of this type for the upcoming 2021 publication schedule. train-station-863337_1280


Illustrations from Pixabay and are provided as examples only. 

Pre-orders: Something Like My Name

Something Like My NameYou can now pre-order your print or digital copy of the fantastic new novel by Adam Phillips, Something Like My Name. Pre-orders allow you to receive your copy at a substantial discount and before many online or brick-and-mortar dealers have the book in their stores. Books will begin shipping next week, and if you order now, we waive the shipping charges!

Click or tap here to place your order today!

To read more about this breakthrough debut, we invite you to review the press release for Something Like My Name.