Blog

Below you will find a regularly updated set of writings, including critical and personal essaysinterviews 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.

Points of Clarification on SPD Boycott

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”

On Recent Developments Between Poets Union and SPD

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”

Introductory Reading List

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”

On Organization and Strategy

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”

Statement in solidarity with unionizing Amazon workers in Bessemer, AL

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”

Post-Launch Update

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”

Poets Should Be Socialists

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”

The Poet As Producer

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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