Past Projects and Collaborators
Jennifer Nix has worked at the intersection of media, politics and activism since the early 1990s. After a living donor kidney transplant (thanks to the incredible generosity of JD) in 2009, she added art and design into the mix. Here are some of the highlights and projects that led to the creation of ModNomad Studio.
How Would a Patriot Act / Glenn Greenwald
Jennifer approached Glenn Greenwald in early 2006 when he had just left life as a corporate lawyer to blog about NSA surveillance and the Bush administrations abuse of power. With a fantastic freelance editorial and logistics team and financial and administrative support from Working Assets (now Credo), this first book from Greenwald went from idea to bestseller in 3 months.
Photo by Ludovic Carème
How Would a Patriot Act?
By Glenn Greenwald
"As readers of this blog know, I have been very excited about a project I have been working on but which I have not been able to talk about. I now can:
Roughly six weeks ago, I was approached by an editor with a proposal to publish a book based on the ideas and arguments which have been the subject of this blog for the last several months. The idea was to get the book to the market quickly in order for it to have as much of an impact as possible on the current, ongoing and now (thanks to Russ Feingold) intensifying debate over the NSA scandal specifically and, even more so, the radical theories of law-breaking power embraced by the Bush Administration generally..."
How to Create a Liberal Bestseller / The Nation
By Jennifer Nix
As a book publisher, it is the best phone call you can make to an author: “Hi, there. Just wanted to let you know that your book has hit the New York Timesbestseller list!” I made that call to Glenn Greenwald, author of How Would a Patriot Act?, on June 1, after getting the best call a publisher can receive.
From the perspective of an independent, progressive publisher, this victory also illustrates a new model for creating chartable vehicles to package progressive ideas. This three-week ride on the bestseller list is a success story that should be replicated–early and often....
Don't Think of an Elephant / George Lakoff / Chelsea Green
While a contributing editor for Chelsea Green Publishing, Jennifer acquired and designed the marketing plan for this book, which went from idea to bestseller in six weeks, taking the publishing world by storm and became a seminal political book for the progressive movement and Democrats.
Jacket copy: Don't Think of an Elephant! is the definitive handbook for understanding what happened in the 2004 election and communicating effectively about key issues facing America today. Author George Lakoff has become a key advisor to the Democratic party, helping them develop their message and frame the political debate.
Don't Think of an Elephant! is the definitive handbook for understanding what happened in the 2004 election and communicating effectively about key issues facing America today. Author George Lakoff has become a key advisor to the Democratic party, helping them develop their message and frame the political debate.In this book Lakoff explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He outlines in detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but are often unable to articulate. Lakoff also breaks down the ways in which conservatives have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate. Lakoff's years of research and work with environmental and political leaders have been distilled into this essential guide, which shows progressives how to think in terms of values instead of programs, and why people vote their values and identities, often against their best interests.*Don't Think of An Elephant!* is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategizing and the right wing's stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States. Read it, take action—and help take America back.
Photo by Bart Nagel
Sleeping with the Enemy / Alternet
By Jennifer Nix
I've got an invitation for all progressive authors out there.
How about putting your money and ideas where your mouths are? Why not work with independent book publishers to share with the public your thoughts about progressive politics, social justice, sustainability and media reform ... instead of lining the pockets of the corporate publishers (and ultimately the five or ten rich white men who control nearly every media message we read and hear in the U.S. today).Let me share with you a story about an independent publisher waging battle against the corporate-owned and fossilized business of book publishing. We could use a little help from you, friends. Late in 2004, Chelsea Green Publishing did the impossible. We signed George Lakoff, got his book, Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate out in five weeks (!) and then ushered it onto The New York Timesand other national bestseller lists less than a month later.
Strange Bedfellows / Chelsea Green Blog
By Jennifer Nix
I had no idea what a resonant chord I would strike recently when I wrote “Sleeping with the Enemy,” a piece for AlterNet and my publishing house’s blog.
I’d hoped to open a dialogue with progressive writers–particularly those who advocate for media reform due to the adverse effects of corporatization and consolidation on U.S. journalism and politics. It seemed worthy of discussion to suggest to writers–especially those who criticize the sinister likes of Rupert Murdoch–that they might want to consider working with independent publishers, rather than lining the already-gilded pockets of those against whom they so often rail.
In no way did I seek to excoriate progressive writers–as I said in the piece. For the sake of drawing attention to this matter, I did choose five names and four big media publishers that I thought best illustrated the depth and breadth of this problem: that the Left sends its very brightest stars and book ideas to make money for big business–and, ultimately, in some cases, the Right, rather than building and strengthening independent media or their own infrastructure for disseminating information.
Superdelegate Transparency Project / Mark Myers
Center for Media and Democracy / Sunlight Foundation
Update: 2016 Election
Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy / Haydn Reiss
Jennifer was a producer on this film, handling logistics for and conducting most of the East Coast interviews, providing early editorial consulting and writing the following piece for HuffingtonPost, which includes an interview with director Haydn Reiss.
Post-Election Prescription: A Generous Dose of Robert Bly / Huffington Post
By Jennifer Nix
medical A person moves toward poetry out of need, says Robert Bly, when religious instruction perhaps fails to resonate deeply enough, or when trying to get in touch with one’s senses. This was certainly true for me, as I faced a devastating diagnosis and forged a path back to health. Poetry continues to guide and inspire me, and a few months ago even led to work on Haydn Reiss’s new
film-in-progress, Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy.
Having encountered Bly’s work only cursorily prior to Reiss’s project, I am now awed by the astonishing breadth and depth of Bly’s influence in the spheres of poetry, cultural theory and political activism. This is a man who changed the course of poetry in America by opening it up to the imagination and the deep-image aesthetic, as well as through his generous and tireless translation of poets from other nations.
His provocative theories on gender and modern manhood, despite significant controversy, arepart of our national psyche. With the election now behind us, I also believe the clarity of Bly’s political positions and moral quest, through his poetry and considerable talents for organizing and motivating others, along with his commitment to the interior life and commitment to the community, offers a true north for artists and activists addressing the problems afflicting our country and planet.
As Bly is dedicated to reintegrating poetry with life — daily life, the life of the body, spiritual and political life — Reiss’s film seeks to portray a life fully and creatively lived, while also suggesting how poetry can invigorate and heal individual and collective wounds that may keep us from the work we must undertake…
Here She Comes Now: Women in Music Who Have Changed Our Lives / Rare Bird Books
From Longreads: “Pressing On,” an essay by writer Jennifer Nix about the impact of June Carter Cash’s music on her life, and the parallels between Carter’s family struggles and her own originally appeared at The Rumpus is included in Here She Comes Now: Women in Music Who Have Changed Our Lives (2015), an anthology edited by Jeff Gordinier and Marc Weingarten, which includes essays by Elissa Schappell, Phyllis Grant, Ada Limon, Katell Keineg and many others. Whether it was Patti Smith's angry moan, Nina Simone's guttural growl, or Dolly Parton's towering hair and sweet voice, women have been a musical force to be reckoned with. In Here She Comes Now, today's biggest and brightest writers tackle their favorite female musicians and the effect they've had on their own lives.
Pressing On / An Excerpt from The Rumpus
By Jennifer Nix
The plain fact is, I don’t remember a time when I was unaware of June Carter Cash. She hovers over my entire forty-odd years of sentience from earliest memory of happiness to present and tangled heartache. Mapping the seminal moments and parallels into which June figures is to plot what I know of my father’s life and death, and to trace how a daughter becomes estranged from the mother she loves—which is to say, maybe by telling my story about June I am hoping to find a way back to my mother...