Company Profile

Founded in 1974, North Atlantic Books has been located in Berkeley, California since 1977. Over this period, North Atlantic has become a leading publisher of alternative health, martial arts, and spiritual titles.

Our mission is to affect planetary consciousness, nurture spiritual and ecological disciplines, disseminate ancient wisdom, and put forth ways to transmute cultural dissonance and violence into service. We have given voice to many new modalities of living and thinking about our world since the 1960s--ways to interrogate and rediscover diet, healing, mindfulness, psychotherapy, somatic and martial practice, and creativity. Our specific strengths are martial arts, bodywork, history of medicine, homeopathy, archaeo-astronomy, transdimensional realms, Eastern religion, diet and natural foods, live food, fine literature, and quirky aspects of pop culture. We publish widely and diversely, mixing commitments to our niches with broad-based general trade books. Although not our main rubrics, we publish environmental titles; graphic novels and comics; urban literature and detective novels; cookbooks; art books; sports books; and new perspectives in dance, film, and theater.

In 1964, while attending Amherst and Smith Colleges in Massachusetts, Richard Grossinger (a cultural anthropologist and writer) and Lindy Hough (a poet and writer) founded Io, an alternative college literary magazine, with the help of poets like Robert Kelly, Charles Stein, and Nels Richardson. Over the next decade Io became a counter-cultural journal mixing literature, science, and history, as it came out of Michigan, Maine, and Vermont with issues such as Alchemy, Doctrine of Signatures, Ethnoastronomy, Oecology, Dreams, Earth Geography, and The Olson-Melville Sourcebooks. The forerunner of such magazines as Whole Earth Review, New Age, Gnosis, and The Sun, Io had a seminal role in publishing poets and artists in the Black Mountain and New American Poetry traditions. It also was the first place of publication for novelists Stephen King and Jayne Anne Phillips and launched as well the work of writers as diverse as David Wilk, Rob Brezsny, and Phoebe Gloeckner. From the seed of Io germinated North Atlantic Books. During its brief infancy in Vermont, North Atlantic's original authors included Bernadette Mayer, Diane di Prima, Gerrit Lansing, Theodore Enslin, Bobby Byrd, Don Byrd, and Edward Sanders.

As an independent publisher, North Atlantic has sought cutting-edge titles that probe the forefront of consciousness and the cultural resonance of new (and often very old) systems. Our first successes were t'ai chi from renowned master Cheng Man-ch'ing, ecological anthropology, and baseball literature. Since then, North Atlantic has explored anomalies such as purportedly artificial Martian landscapes, elements of Amazonian shamanism, the HIV-AIDS connection, vaccinations, microdoses, crop circles, while also publishing political works on the Prison Industrial Complex, Al Quaeda, Terrorism, Abu Ghraib, and the Geneva Accord for Healing Israel-Palestine. We've also published teachings of Islamic Sufism, Jewish mysticism, Buddhism (Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, Tibetan, and Korean), and Vedanta. We address body and mind with a wealth of modalities, from Alexander work and Feldenkrais, to Reiki, Jungian psychology, shamanism, and craniosacral therapy.

As a rule we seek primary sources, founders of systems, and innovators. We favor direct experience, fresh language, and first-hand experience. We try to avoid knock-offs and derivations, books written first as marketing concepts, commodities, or exploitations of fads.

North Atlantic Books was incorporated in 1980 within the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The Society's goals are to develop an educational and cross-cultural perspective that links scientific, social, and artistic fields; to nurture a holistic view of arts, sciences, humanities, and healing; and to publish and distribute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature.

Frog Books was founded in 1993 as a sister company but now functions as an imprint of North Atlantic under the name Frog Books. Named for the bellweather species reflecting the destruction of the environment, Frog reminds us of the fragility of our world. Reminding us of the sacred, atavistic, and colorful, Frog shares North Atlantic's publishing and educational goals.

Blue Snake Books was developed out of Frog Books, in 2005 as a martial arts imprint and is presently the largest publisher of internal and historical martial arts books in the world.

EVOLVER EDITIONS was launched in 2011 as a collaboration between North Atlantic Books and Evolver, LLC. EVOLVER EDITIONS presents leading voices of the transformational movement, the new spiritual counterculture that explores humanity's most visionary potential and the tangible, pragmatic steps we can take to access it.