aquarius press

Publishing and Digital Strategies


Award-Winning Books Since 1999

CONGRATS TO CAROLYN STRIHO for making the FIRST BALLOT for her audio edition!


TIME to SHINE: Overcoming Life’s Obstacles with Allen Williams (2021)

An inspirational memoir by former Detroit Lions Running Back Allen Williams. Williams played with the Lions on their 1995 Playoffs run with Barry Sanders. Time to Shine is a “playbook” of strategies for overcoming the obstacles we all face in our daily lives.

Detroit Lions running back Allen Williams (21) carries the football on a kickoff return during the Lions 58-37 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1995 NFC Wild Card Playoff Game on December 30, 1995 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Greg Crisp/Getty Images)

Ava Cherry with David Bowie at the Grammys

All That Glitters: The Ava Cherry Story (2022)

Ava Cherry and Lisa Torem

At long last…Ava Cherry tells her story.

Ava Cherry first emerged in the music industry as a background vocalist for David Bowie. She appeared in his historic 1980 Floor Show and sang back-up with Luther Vandross and Robin Clark on his Young Americans (1975) album. Signing with RSO/Curtom Records, Ava Cherry released her first solo album in 1980, Ripe!!! With production by Curtis MayfieldRipe!!! made the disco Top 10 and spawned the Top 40 R&B hit “Love Is Good News.” Renowned music industry executive Bobby Colomby signed Ava Cherry to Capitol Records in 1981 and paired the singer with producer Bob Esty, whose work with artists like CherDonna Summer, and Barbra Streisand made him one of the most in-demand producers in LA.

From SoulTracks


Mac & Irene: A WWII Saga (2021) by Margot McMahon

A true story of love, perseverance and the saving power of art. Artist and WWII B-17 navigator Franklin “Mac” McMahon fights to survive captivity behind enemy lines to return home to Chicago and his sweetheart, Irene.

Order Today! AMAZON.COM

Mac survives the Stalag Luft III POW camp and returns home determined to make the world a better place with his art. McMahon will become an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning artist-reporter. He was the courtroom artist for the Emmett Till Trial and the infamous Chicago “Conspiracy” Trial of 1969/70. McMahon was also a Presidential and U.S. Space Program artist. Mac & Irene: A WWII Saga is the first in a trilogy on McMahon’s legendary life and legacy.

Franklin “Mac” and Irene McMahon

More about “Mac”:

VISIT THE MARGOT MCMAHON COLLECTION for all of her new titles!

COMING October 30–BOOK 2 in the Saga: IF TREES COULD TALK
If Trees Could Talk is a hybrid historical fiction/memoir that uncovers family secrets through the clues of Margot’s father’s paintings and her mother’s writings. “This is all they left to follow the breadcrumbs of their life story. The fear of losing my mother and her patterns had already happened, now Dad was ailing and I don’t know my grandparent’s names let alone where I came from. As I discover my Northern Irish Catholic roots, I realize my adventurous life has been a quest to understand my past.”–Margot McMahon 

A Temple for Tomorrows by John Jeffire (2021)

John Jeffire will release his upcoming collection, A Temple for Tomorrows (2021). John was Aquarius Press’ first “Living Detroit Series” poet and will be our final Detroit poet published after 22 years.

Hustler. Rough beast. Teacher. Right out of the gate John Jeffire’s book shrieks. This puzzle is an homage of blood, family, war—shake downs, masques of shame, rotary phones, doing time. Its pieces are innumerable—chaos, surrender, soul, both penniless and proud; they are abandoned motels, saving face, steel and bone. They whisper Johnny Ace and a Wonder Woman. Detroit, America—eat your heart out. A Temple for Tomorrows kicks ass, takes names. At its core is an inimitable heart.

Jim Reese, author of Bone Chalk

Grover McCants, author of Dick Brown’s Cookbook

COMING for the Holidays!

Dick Brown’s Kitchen, our first-ever lifestyle series!

Fun Fact: The Story behind the “Dick Brown” Persona

The cookbook’s title is named for McCants’ quasi-alter ego, Dick Brown. McCants received the name from one of the star players of the Bad Boys Pistons®. McCants recalls the humorous naming story within the cookbook.

CONGRATS to Willow Books Division Poet Lupe Mendez, the 2022 Texas Poet Laureate! Lupe is the author of Why I Am Like Tequila, Winner of the John A. Robertson Award Best First Book of Poetry 2019
Texas Institute of Letters

Lupe Mendez


New AQP logo2020

EST. 1999

Publishing & Digital Production

AQUARIUS PRESS is an industry leader in publishing and digital production. The press is known for its excellence in developing bestselling authors and book-to-screen studio projects. 


We have two subdivisions:

Willow Books ( develops, publishes and promotes many of the nation’s top poets and writers of color.

AUXmedia is the “Next-Gen” platform for film, television and podcast productions.


Letters That Moved My Father by Romayne Kazmer (2020).

International traveler Romayne Kazmer has just released a memoir of her adventures as a young woman abroad in 1959/60.  Letters That Moved My Father is dedicated to her loving parents who supported her exploration of the wider world. MORE

Willow Books Division

Raising King by Joseph Ross

I would like to hope that Raising King, my new collection of poems, might offer ways to reflect and act to create a more just America. –From the Author

ORDER Raising King today:  Aquarius Press SHOPIFY

Aquarius Press Arts & Business Series

A new line of authors sharing insights and best practices for the public good. 

From Jim Crow to CEO: The Willie E. Artis Story

Available on Amazon

The amazing true story by Willie E. Artis, Flint industrialist, governmental business advisor and friend of blues icon B.B. King. For more about Willie, visit 

CONGRATS to Willie E. Artis, Winner, Michigan Business & Professional Association Awards!


Detroit Stories: A Motor City Podcast

Hosted by Heather Buchanan

Featuring stories about the city of Detroit by those who know and love it best. True stories, short fiction, dramatic readings and so much more, all for your listening pleasure each week. And of course, there is no Detroit without a good Motown story or two.

Tune in, sit back and enjoy every week as we reminisce—and dream—about the future of Detroit.

AUXmedia Broadcasts YouTube Channel


Detroit (Maiden Energy) by Carolyn Striho

Nominated for nearly sixty Detroit Music Awards in recent years, Carolyn Striho is a two-time Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter of the Year winner. Other big award wins include Outstanding Americana Album of the Year 2014 for Word Attack and Outstanding Rock/Pop Album of the Year for Honesty. Besides her infamously charismatic live shows at many festivals, clubs, and art galleries in the Midwest and Canada, she has five tours of Europe under her belt, as well as a two-month stretch in Japan, opened for Steve Earle in England, and has performed in Detroit, Toronto and London with Patti Smith. Carolyn is best known for her new music and catchy, magically intense live shows and songwriting. Her live performances with her latest band, her legendary shows and writing fronting the well-known Detroit Energy Asylum band, with Patti Smith, and her punk/art rock years with Rough Cut and the Cubes, as well as performing with Don Was and the Was Not Was Band, Iggy Pop, the Ramones and the Slits.

Willow Books proudly launched the double-feature debut of Sokunthary Svay (New York) and Sahar Mustafah (Chicago)!

4 Sahar low res.jpg

Congrats to our recent honorees at the Smithsonian!

Lucinda Roy, Bestselling Novelist and Willow Books Poet


The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller

Literary Activist, Fullbright Fellow & Washington, DC Hall of Famer


carr center logo

The Writers@The Carr Residency Program

Global Reach

To date, Aquarius Press titles have been presented in far-reaching locales, including Manila, Philippines and Rwanda, Africa.

Visit Our Bookstore

More About Aquarius Press:

Aquarius Press, founded in 1999 in Detroit, publishes trade, academic, and special interest titles. Key partnerships have been formed with several universities, libraries, governmental agencies, and literary organizations. Several titles are included in numerous library collections, including the University of Michigan Special Collection, Poets House in New York, and the African Libraries Collective. The flagship imprint, Willow Books, was co-founded with Dr. Randall Horton in 2007 with a mission to develop, publish, and promote writers of color. In addition to publishing and providing professional development opportunities, Willow has created a platform for its authors to engage with the public through workshops, conferences, digital streaming broadcasts, and public readings in the U.S. and abroad. Signature events include the annual LitFest (Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Antonio, D.C. and New York) and its Literature Awards. The press has active roster of 50+ single-title authors and has published over 10 anthologies and journals containing the works of hundreds of poets and writers. An industry leader, the press is known for its excellence in design, content and development of award-winning authors and fellows.


Lincoln Ctr
PEN Faulkner WIS

downloadCave Canem Foundation, Inc., NYC

Furious Flower, VA

carr center logoThe Carr Center, Detroit, MI

University of New Haven Readings Series, CT

Springfed Arts, Detroit, MI

PEN/Faulkner, Washington, DC


Associated Writing Programs (AWP)

Split This Rock, Washington, DC

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Midwest Modern Language Association (M/MLA)

Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature (SSML)

London Book Fair

American Library Association (ALA)

National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)

Poets House Showcase

Winter Wheat Festival, Grand Valley State University

About the Owner & Publisher:

Heather Buchanan is an award-winning publisher and producer. 

Heather Buchanan

Heather Buchanan is the owner/publisher of Aquarius Press and its flagship imprint, Willow Books. A graduate of Wayne State University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn respectively, she was a NIH Research Fellow in Cognitive Science. Buchanan has taught Composition, African American Literature, World Literature, Film Studies and Digital Rhetoric at several colleges and universities. An arts consultant, Buchanan is a former Poet-in-Residence for the Detroit Public Library system and served on the Board of Governors for UM-Dearborn’s College of Arts & Sciences Affiliate. A musician and playwright, Buchanan served as COO of the Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities in the state of Michigan. She was a 2020 SAM Career Pathways specialist.

Buchanan is also the founder of AUXmedia, a creative arts studio headquartered in TechTown Detroit. 

Currently producing a book and film project based on the archives of Flint millionaire CEO and Obama Administration business resource Willie E. Artis, Buchanan is the Executive Producer of the Sundance Institute-supported Solomon (2020) and a producer for Hastings (2021), a drama set in 1ate 1950s Detroit. She is also developing a series based on the bestselling Hook, featured on C-Span. Buchanan is the Executive Producer for Pure Land. She is currently publishing a family saga trilogy based on the life of WWII hero and Civil Rights artist-reporter Franklin McMahon and developing the story into a feature film.

A Humanities scholar, Buchanan received a Proclamation from the City of Detroit. She serves on the board of LATITUDE CHICAGO.

  • 2020 Presenter, National Humanities Conference, Indianapolis
  • 2020 Career Pathways Committee, Society for American Music (SAM), Minneapolis, MN
  • Host, LitFest Broadcast, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Minneapolis
  • 2019 University of Michigan-Dearborn Difference Maker Alumnus of the Year
  • 2019 Michigan Humanities Council Champion of the Year Nominee, Lansing, MI
  • 2019 Featured Presenter, Association of Black Sociologists Conference, New York City
  • 2019 Presenter, Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), Charlotte, SC
  • 2018 Featured Presenter, Southfield Public Library, MI
  • 2018 Director, LitFest, East Harlem, NY
  • 2017 Fellow, Society for American Music, Montreal, Quebec
  • Past COO, Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities

 Proud Member, Council of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP)


20615 Fenkell, #23096

DETROIT, MI  48223


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