P.O. Box 43072
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
Electronym: wessells@aol.com

James Cummins Bookseller, New York City. Chief operating officer (2005 to present). Hired as associate (July 2000 to 2005).
Antiquarian bookseller: buying, cataloguing, and selling printed books, autograph and manuscript material; making independent decisions on acquisitions and sales; valuing, cataloguing, and placing author or publication archives; appraisals of single items, collections, and archives for donation or insurance purposes; representing the firm at international antiquarian book fairs and other events. Guest speaker at rare book/librarianship classes offered by Indiana University (Lilly Library), Pratt Institute, and New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliant through 11 March 2024.

Temporary Culture, Upper Montclair, N.J. (2003 to present).
Independent publisher of fiction, artist books, and original monographs relating to the literature of the fantastic.

Freelance Copy Editor & Proofreader (Nov. 1999 to Jan. 2003).
Projects included Spafinder magazine and «www.spafinder.com»; and Scifiction, the weekly selection of science fiction stories edited by Ellen Datlow for «scifi.com».

AB Bookman's Weekly, Garfield, New Jersey. (Nov. 1996 to Oct. 1999).
Hired as staff writer; promoted to Managing Editor in May 1998; position terminated when magazine ceased publication.
Editorial production of weekly trade magazine for the antiquarian book world; researching and writing original bylined articles, hundreds of unsigned book reviews, news items; semi-annual index. Represented the magazine at antiquarian book fairs and other conventions and trade shows. Attended the Out-of-Print and Antiquarian Book Market Seminar (now Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar), Colorado Springs, summer 1997.

Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, R.R. Bowker, New Providence, New Jersey. (Dec. 1990 to Nov. 1996).
Hired as Assistant Editor, promoted to Senior Associate Editor.
Compilation of bibliographic data for annual directory of serial publications; devised standard electronic format to obtain subscription data from international publishers; in-house editorial and subject manuals.

Teacher's & Writers Collaborative, New York City (1988-1990)
Assistant Director, Writer in Residence program at PS75 Manhattan, teaching creative writing to grades 3-8; also taught in Columbia University School of General Studies Summer Program for High School Students, 1988 & 1989.

Freelance Database Design (1987-1990)
Designed and maintained confidential record-keeping database for N.Y.C. information management consulting firm

Freelance Translator (1986-1997)
Translation of legal and technical documents from Arabic, French, and German, for International Arbitration Report and other clients; interpreter for Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode and delegation from Douala, Cameroun, in 1986.

(click here for detailed list of publications)


COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York City. Writing Division, School of the Arts. Master of Fine Arts, 1990.

THE NAROPA INSTITUTE, Boulder, Colorado. Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Summer program, 1987.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO, Egypt. C.A.S.A. fellowship, Center for Arabic Study, 1983-1984.
One-year program in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, literature, medieval palaeography, and contemporary history.

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Princeton, New Jersey. Bachelor of Arts, 1983. Graduated magna cum laude, Department of Near Eastern Studies.
Departmental thesis: translation and annotation of 17th century Arabic manuscript, "Notes for a Ruling on Tobacco," by Ahmad Baba al-Tinbukti, with a short history of tobacco in the Islamic world.

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, School of Arabic. U.S. Dept. of Education Resource Fellowship, Summer program, 1982.

THE LAWRENCEVILLE SCHOOL, Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Class of 1978.

LYCÉE INTERNATIONAL, St. Germain-en-Laye, France. 1974-1976.

Association Internationale de Bibliophilie (A.I.B.); Grolier Club, New York City; Associate Member, A.B.A.A.; Certified Member, Appraisers Association of America.