ebook coverBrooklyn the Black cover web2




Edited by Asha Veal Brisebois

ISBN: 978-0-9890389-0-4
ISBN: 978-0-9890389-9-7
ISBN: 978-0-9890389-1-1
Publication Date: 07/29/2013
6 x 9, 400 pages
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TODAY, YOUNG PEOPLE are traveling to countries such as South Sudan to work in water treatment, and Vietnam to shoot documentaries about healing after war. They are joining in to perform air guitar at festivals in Finland, and listening intently from within the audience at community film screenings in Rwanda.

The challenge of today is not just “where do I fit in one small place,” but identity and interaction throughout the world.

The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35 offers a peer-written collection of 48 vivid and transportive, personal and original nonfiction pieces that portray contemporary snapshots across the globe.


Theopi Skarlatos, journalist with the BBC
Daniel Ketchum, editor at Marvel Comics
Derek Helwig, twelve-season producer on The Amazing Race
Vanessa Mdee, MTV Base VJ and HIV/AIDS activist
Andrew Bisharat, editor-at-large for Rock and Ice
Kaitlin Solimine, co-founder of HIPPO Reads
Yuki Aizawa, 2007-2008 facilitator at StoryCorps
Lisa Dazols, of Out & Around
Justin “Nordic Thunder” Howard, 2012 Air Guitar World Champion
and many more

including writers and adventurers, whose publication histories include: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vogue India, San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Lonely Planet, Velvet Park, Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Abu Dhabi Film Festival Magazine, and others.

and whose backgrounds include awards and recognition from the: National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, U.S. Department of State Fulbright Creative Arts Fellows, Hedgebrook Writing Residency, Illinois Arts Council, and more.

within the book’s wide roster, you’ll hear from such a wide range of storytellers, the likes of: a sailor and glaciologist from Scotland, Brooklyn musician, Tanzanian television host, Dubai-based journalist, and a Montreal aerospace medicine enthusiast, plus rural school teachers, a fearless rock climber, five-country midwife, and so many more.

About the editor: Asha Veal Brisebois is the founder of The Places We’ve Been books / The Places We've Been LLC. Her published work has been acquired in libraries and collections including the Smithsonian Institution George Gustav Heye Center - National Museum of the American Indian, University of Toronto Libraries, Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden, Netherlands), and others. Her work in creative nonfiction has been published by Brooklyn-based Slice Literary, and several others. Asha graduated from New York University, and the MFA program at The New School.

Featuring Stories By:
(full bios available here)


Adam Karlin
Alison Medina
Andrew Bisharat
Brenna Fitzgerald
Carys Cragg
Cecilia Haynes
Chaney Kwak
Christian Lewis
Colin Souness
Craig Smith
Daniel Ketchum
Derek Helwig
Doc Halliday Golden
E. B. Bartels
Edward C. Davis IV
Frank Izaguirre
Haroon Moghul
Ian Bardenstein
Jessica Reff
Joey Cavise
“Nordic Thunder”
Kaitlin Solimine
Kim Coleman Foote
Laine Strutton
Laura Drudi
Laura Madeline Wiseman
Lindsey Laveaux
Lisa Dazols
Lisa Hsia
Liz Quinn
Louis Stanfill
Mari Amend
Mark Bessen
Mike Madej
Molly Headley-Benkaci
Nathan Myers
Nick Dall
Pria Anand
Rachael Levitt
Rhonda Gibson
S. Imran Ali
Sara Cooper
Sarah Khan
Sierra Ross Gladfelter
Sophie Chamas
Theopi Skarlatos
Vanessa Mdee
Yuki Aizawa

cover illustration: Mikael Nybom
full cover and interior design: Jana Vukovic and Jason Wong
additional editorial support: Ravenn Moore, Libby Sentz, and Brian McGovern
photo credits: collage photos courtesy of Daniel Ketchum, Derek Helwig, Theopi Skarlatos, Joey Cavise, Lisa Hsia, Edward C Davis IV, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Kim Coleman Foote; Time Square photo courtesy of Doc Halliday Golden


A book by Colin Souness

no unauthorized use of photo permitted
Atlantic Gigantic tells the true story of how three friends – Matt, Sam, and Colin – sailed a forty-five-foot yacht across the North Atlantic. 

“Life is out there for anyone who seeks it, and here is a great example. Colin and his crewmates seize this opportunity to sail the Gambo across the northern Atlantic despite fear and common sense warning against it, embodying a real spirit of adventure.”
– Mike Robinson, chief executive for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society


“Every year, millions of people come to Scotland by land, sea and air, to bask in a country that boasts spectacular scenery, a rich history and culture and the warmest of welcomes. The journey to Scotland is very much part of the overall visitor experience, and I think it’s safe to say that Colin Souness and his friends undertook a more adventurous and thrilling journey than most to return to the land of his birth..."
– Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland


Atlantic Gigantic / a book by Colin Souness
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Book Description

For anyone who thinks that science is a boring game of white coats and dry numbers, here is a book which might make you think again.

ATLANTIC GIGANTIC tells the story of how three young scientists—glaciologists Sam Doyle and Colin Souness, and marine biologist Matt Burdekin—wound up in Greenland as part of a cutting-edge climate research project and found themselves sailing home across the North Atlantic Ocean. Brought together and offered the chance by a top UK climate scientist, these three, despite being little more than novice sailors, found themselves volunteering to sail an expeditionary research yacht from the Arctic waters of western Greenland to Oban in Scotland's West Highlands, without any on-hand guidance.

Atlantic Gigantic describes how a shared love of challenge and discovery, unexpectedly brought these three adventurous research students to the very edge of their comfort zones—and launched them clear out, straight into the clutches of the North Atlantic. They came together as a crew, sharing their love of exploration, proving their strengths in the face of their fears, and working out not only how to sail but also how to make up for their other respective experience gaps by pooling their very different personalities and skill sets. This book relates the tale of their journey through water, through storms, through fears and through friendship.


About the Author
Colin Souness is a glaciologist and seafarer with a passion for wild spaces. He grew up first in Scotland’s west highlands and later in her rugged borderlands and has been inspired by wilderness areas from as early as he can remember. So naturally, Colin went on to study as a geomorphologist. Later, after first crewing a five-month sailing expedition to Antarctica and then joining the Royal Air Force for a while, Colin went back to uni for a PhD studying ice on Mars. Now Colin works as a lecturer and Polar Regions guide aboard ice-strengthened ships throughout the Arctic and in the Antarctic. He is a graduate of Aberystwyth University and The University of Edinburgh.

A Note from Colin

I have always been in awe of landscapes—and the world’s oceans are some of the most enigmatic, alien, powerful, unexplored, and rightly feared landscapes on Earth.

Once, the oceans were true geographical barriers. Early travellers were obliged to take to the seas and risk their lives in the face of extreme forces which they really had very little understanding of. Nowadays we live in an era of aviation and the world’s water bodies have become mere distances over which we can fly. I have always felt somehow guilty about this, as if we have both robbed the seas of their significance and robbed ourselves of the awe and respect which those watery expanses once instilled in us.

Mankind once defined itself according to the environment in which we lived. Some were mountain peoples, some were desert peoples. Some were highlanders while others were lowlanders. And some were sailors. Now, perhaps, we define ourselves less by the landscape and more by the goals and standards set for us by the economy, and our respective nations.

What do you think? How do we define ourselves now?

Atlantic Gigantic is, at its core, a book about an adventure. I hope you feel a little of that when you read it. It’s also a book about attitudes. It’s a book about friendships. It’s a book about how we realise the meaning in our lives.

Most of all, Atlantic Gigantic is a book about respect. Respect for self, respect for others, and respect for the immensity of the world around us.



ISBN: 978-0-9890389-4-2
ISBN: 978-0-9890389-2-8
ISBN: 978-0-9890389-5-9

6x9, 248 pages

Where to buy

photos courtesy of the author



Brooklyn the Black cover web2








"Eighty-five pairs of kicks on three silver racks outside our front door told on me and my ladies as not being “made in Brooklyn” originals, worried about our dancing heels or street sneakers getting stolen. A black American girl with two Long Island Koreans. We ate Halal buffet and bean pies from the immigrant African Arabs to the left. We ordered vegetable rice and deep-fried chicken wings from the Chinese takeout on the right. One block over, we shopped for food at our neighborhood’s big grocery store, the one where black music played from speakers tracked along the ceiling. Black, like me and de la hip hop, black like a beat to turn around..."


The writer Asha Veal Brisebois created Brooklyn (the black) as part of a memoir, intending to release the full work in multiple formats at later dates. This is a collection of selections of her work, written from 2005 through 2007, and 2014.


Early acquisition by library collections at the Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture – Washington DC, the DuSable Museum of African American History – Chicago, and the Kandinsky Library at the Pompidou Center National Museum of Modern Art – Paris.


ISBN HARDCOVER: 978-0-9890389-7-3
ISBN PAPERBACK: 978-0-9890389-8-0

6x9; 74 pages

Where to buy



Until then, we’d love for you to join our Facebook page HERE or mailing list HERE.


Want to know what's new with The Places We've Been books? All the news, on our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/ThePlaces35 


In addition to publishing books and full-length work, The Places We've Been books is proud to feature short work by emerging writers and artists whose themes and experimentation reflect our mission statement. Contact stories[at]theplaces35.com to inquire about being featured, or collaborating on a future project. Visit our About page to learn more about the process for accepting manuscript submissions.


In case you missed The Places We've Been books on September 8, 2014, at the historic Chicago Cultural Center, in our co-sponsorship event with the Illinois Humanities Council, you can read the program and bios, and catch all the video clips here:
Full-length or YouTube Clips playlist

Justin "Nordic Thunder" Howard, rocking out with the full crew

(photo credit Erik Lee)


More Photos Here:
On Facebook On Twitter On Google+

Mariam Sobh and Kim Coleman Foote, Daniel Ketchum and Lisa Hsia, Derek Helwig

(photo credits Asha Veal Brisebois, Theopi Skarlatos/Lisa Hsia, Lisa Hsia)


You Can Also Listen on SoundCloud:

September 8 event

Special StoryCorps interview with Laura Madeline Wiseman and Asha Veal Brisebois

Morning radio with The Morning AMp, at Vocalo/Chicago Public Media

Asha Veal Brisebois and Laura Madeline Wiseman; Daniel Ketchum, Derek Helwig, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Joey Cavise, and Edward C. Davis IV

(photo credits The Morning AMp, Adam Wagler, Eric Lee)


Happy watching, listening, and streaming!




Our titles are available by special order through your local bookstore.

They are listed for immediate order at nearly all online booksellers, ranging from the U.S. and international (Germany, France, U.K., Japan, India, E.U., Italy, Canada) Amazon stores, as well as major online booksellers in nations as wide-ranging as Korea, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, and Estonia.

Online: Amazon (U.S. and all international), Alibris, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Kobo, Waterstones; and at most online booksellers serving the U.S. and abroad

In store: Quimby's Bookstore, Chicago; St. Mark's Bookshop, NYC
by special order through your local bookstore (e-book version available through Amazon, Kobo, Chapters Indigo)

Distributors (volume): Ingram, Baker & Taylor, NACSCORP, Espresso Book Machine (U.S. and Canada; contact info[at]theplaces35.com for full U.K. list)


ThisIsWhat home



The Places We've Been books 

In 2011, Asha Veal Brisebois founded an independent publishing company called The Places We’ve Been books. She started this publishing effort largely because of wanting to develop and promote literary projects that portray the diverse experiences of human existence. A multicultural canon of literature and art is at the core of the mission. The first completed project, The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35, is an international anthology of 48 contributing writers. Beyond indie, the book was recently acquired as a college-level supplemental text in cultural anthropology and Africana studies by a professor at a campus of Chicago Community Colleges, and is being taught in literature by a professor at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

The Places We've Been book's writers and collaborators have been based in cities and countries including the United States, Scotland, London, Greece, Tanzania, Jordan, Dubai, Lebanon, Brazil, Paraguay, Montreal, Vancouver, South Sudan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Paris, China, and many more; with affiliations and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Atlantic, BBC, StoryCorps, Marvel, MTV Base, and more.

In 2014, The Places We’ve Been books, was selected for a co-sponsorship event with the Illinois Humanities Council at the Chicago Cultural Center, a historic building in the heart of downtown. The book was selected by the IHC to co-host this event under the theme of Bridging Cultures—projects intended to promote understanding and mutual respect for people with diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives within the United States and abroad.

For August 2015, the book and organization presented at the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the Just Festival, a platform for projects that foster "Understanding, Respect, and Peace, rather than acting in passive ignorance surrounded by fear, inequality, and injustice."

In June 2012, The Places We’ve Been books was noted as a “Fresh Local Startup” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

In its first week of release, the Field Reports book reached the #2 spot on Amazon.com's ranking of “Hot New Releases – Travel Writing and Travelogues” and the #1 spot on their ranking of “Hot New Releases – Travel Writing Reference.”

Additional titles in YA fiction, literary fiction, and literary nonfiction are in development for release.




A few booksellers where you can find our titles

Online: Amazon, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Chapters Indigo, Ingram, Kobo, Quimby's, Waterstones

In store: Quimby's Bookstore, Chicago; St. Mark's Bookshop, NYC; Brooklyn Museum museum shop, NYC; and by special order through you local bookstore

(e-book versions available through Amazon and Kobo)

Distributors (volume): Ingram, Baker & Taylor, NACSCORP, Espresso Book Machine (U.S. and Canada; contact info[at]theplaces35.com for full U.K. list)



We’d love for you to join our mailing list HERE, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to email or call, respectively, at: info[at]theplaces35.com or 312.376.8276.

The Places We’ve Been books seeks to work with varied and ambitious new writers to develop and publish, promote, and distribute unique work. Specific areas of interest are literary nonfiction, oral history projects, literary fiction, and select young adult literature. Our reading period is the same every year: from January through June. Please send a brief summary, word count, and  bio to: stories[at]theplaces35.com. We will reply if we are able to review your full manuscript.

No, you do not need an agent to submit. Unfortunately, we are not able to review partial manuscripts so please be prepared with at least a full finished draft.

You mean a hard copy of your manuscript submission? Please don’t send one. We only review via email.

Thanks for your interest and support! Our titles are available for distribution through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, discounts listed.

Absolutely! Please send your request to info[at]theplaces35.com, and include the name of the title requested, publication and approximate date the review will appear, and your full contact information.


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Phone: 312.376.8276
Address: Chicago, IL