Below you will find a regularly updated set of writings, including critical and personal essays; interviews with anti-capitalist presses and journals; reports and exposés on problematic presses, journals, institutions, and practices; resources for helping writers navigate and sustain themselves; ongoing statements of solidarity with various orgs and struggles in and around the literary world; and regular updates on things going on with Poets Union.
In response to the release of SPD’s original email to us, we publicly stated that we saw no reason to alter course. This is still the case. While we feel the need to reassert our position in light of SPD’s more recent statement, this will be our last response for the foreseeable future. In Poets Union’sContinue reading “A Reassertion of PU’s Boycott of SPD”
In light of misinformation, questions, and criticism continuing to circulate around Poets Union’s boycott of SPD and its bestselling/prominent publishers, we want to offer the following clarifications. This is not simply to correct perception of PU, but to mitigate harm done to workers and whistleblowers who have placed their trust in PU and whose reputations,Continue reading “Points of Clarification on SPD Boycott”
TL;DR — On Tuesday, June 8th, Poets Union was informed by email (from an account called “spdworkersorganize,” which we now determine to have been management) that a sizable number of current and former workers oppose our boycott. However, as argued below, we had, and have, no reason to credit this statement or alter course. AmongContinue reading “On Recent Developments Between Poets Union and SPD”
The following is testimony from a current worker at Small Press Distribution. After our boycott went live, they reached out to Poets Union via email and gave us permission to share this publicly. The worker affirms that all of this is true, and it is being presented here for the public good. Some parts haveContinue reading “Testimony from Current SPD Worker”
Since Damaged Book Worker went public in December 2020, describing wage theft and abuse while working at Small Press Distribution, Poets Union has followed the story closely. Many of us have advocated for DBW and other SPD workers online, and the scandal there has further informed our understanding of small press publishing and its systemicContinue reading “Statement on Small Press Distribution”
Below is an introductory list of articles that we at Poets Union have found useful in understanding the economic and political situation of poetry in the US today. The list is chronological based on area of focus, from most recent to oldest. We intend to post a much more detailed list soon, but we wantContinue reading “Introductory Reading List”
While reflecting on the launch of our union and the many thoughtful replies and critiques offered from those who have joined, a few things have become clearer about our organization, its possibilities, and its strategy moving forward. The original materials on our website – manifesto, FAQ, and two essays – articulated a dynamic project withContinue reading “On Organization and Strategy”
Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are on the brink of becoming the first unionized employees at Amazon. As they vote to join RWDSU, Poets Union stands in solidarity with these workers — 85% of whom are Black, and a majority of whom are women — as they assert themselves against one of the mostContinue reading “Statement in solidarity with unionizing Amazon workers in Bessemer, AL”
3/4/21 Poets Union is closing in on a hundred members! We greatly appreciate the interest so many have shown, and we look forward to building together. We also realize there are many questions, theoretical and strategic, about what we are and what it’s all about. We have an FAQ that tries to address many things,Continue reading “Post-Launch Update”
A Critique of the Literary-Academic System by R.M. Haines In April of 2020, a few years after earning a PhD in creative writing, I chose to self-publish my first collection of poems as a free PDF. This decision was unremarkable in itself, but after having spent considerable time in the academic realm, I was underContinue reading “Poets Should Be Socialists”
by Poets Union In his 1934 essay, “The Author as Producer,” Walter Benjamin sought a revolutionary, anti-fascist literature by arguing that writers must begin a material critique of literary production. Acknowledging that bourgeoisie and fascists alike often employed spiritualized, non-material terms when rationalizing their work, he insists that leftist writers must rethink their work asContinue reading “The Poet As Producer”
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