"The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is the most important anthology of the 21st Century."
- Frank Sherlock, Poet
"THIS ANTHOLOGY IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FUCKING DOCUMENTS AROUND!"
-CA Conrad, Poet
WHAT'S THE OWS POETRY ANTHOLOGY?!
Many names have contributed to the anthology, some of which you may know: the visual artist Molly Crabapple did the cover art and some of the more prominent poets that contributed are Adrienne Rich, Eileen Myles, Ngoma Hill, the Allen Ginsberg Society on behalf of Allen, Wanda Coleman, CA Conrad, Dodie Bellamy, Kevin Killian, Charles Bernstein, Eliot Katz, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bob Holman, Lee Ann Brown, Anne Waldman, Puma Pearl, Danny Schechter, Stuart Leonard, Filip Marinovich, Ariana Reines, Frank Sherlock, and many many more...
The money donated to this project will allow for the OWS Poetry Anthology to be printed and given away to a lot of people. The more money the project receives, the more copies we will be able to print. The anthology has been open to anyone to send in poems of any size and definition since early October 2011. It's over a thousand Microsoft Word pages. It's probably the lengthiest, most inclusive text the Occupy Wall Street movement has yet produced and its a direct reflection of the SOUL of the movement. On April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan will be hosting the OWS Poetry Anthology community for an afternoon of open readings, where anyone can come and join and read a poem. To mark the occasion, we will be presenting the library with the first book print copy of the anthology for them to have on record. Also the money will go towards shipping and storage fees. Here's a basic example of the breakdown of the numbers: if we get forty about thirty will go to printing and then ten will go toward shipping/storage/getting them into the hands of people. If you want to see a more serious breakdown of the numbers, contact me and I can show you what I'm working with.
The Anthology is over a thousand pages, it's a very big book. It's like the predecessor to A People's History of the United States, it offers real voices, and an inclusivety unavailable in the publishing world... Originally I was going to ask for $50,000.00 as it's going to be expensive to print this book and ship it. But in the interest of just getting copies into the world, I figured it was safer to shoot for $30,000.00. However, if the goal is met, and more money comes in, that will mean more copies can be printed. The more copies printed, the more people will be able to own it and the more special collections we will be able to get it into. By the time this project is completed, the NY Public Library and Poet's House in NYC will already have copies in their collections. I'd like to get this important record into as many public collections as possible.
WHY A CAMPAIGN?!
For the past few months I've been trying to persuade publishers to print the book in its entirety but it seems the values of this book do not mesh with the values of a publishing company, as we would like for this book to be given out to people freely and we would prefer not exclude any poets nor poems from its pages. So it seems the only way to keep the book, in all its magick, is to print it ourselves and to bring it to the people ourselves, and to read from its pages ourselves. This book is a radical departure from the traditional structure of the "anthology", most anthologies are very selective, while this collection seeks to welcome all forms of poetry and engages in experiments like placing a famous poets poet next to a never before heard poet. What happens when you don't exclude an idea and you let everyone encounter the idea? What happens when you print thousands of copies of a book of poetry and GIVE IT AWAY FREE?!
The poems that have comprised this anthology are poems from the soul, poems demanding a new world, poems begging that the recession end, poems from hysterical and starving peers, even poems from the 1% ready to argue against Occupy Wall Street, there are poems from the world over that is standing up virtually naked at the feet of a corporate beast, a war of David versus Goliath scope, and the people that have assembled and added to the OWS Anthology are ready to speak out against the atrocities destroying our Earth, fight back and create a future that can beget a future.
Once the books are printed, they will regularly be available for pick up with the Peoples Library at UnOppressive NonImperialist Bargain Books. Copies of the anthology will also be shipped to Occupations all over the world, and it's my goal to get a copy of the anthology into every major library system in the world. In this way, by trying to get the anthology into as many individual hands as well as public collections, the anthology will have a safe place to continue to tell the tales of this movement and moment in time.
I read from and spoke about the Anthology on the progressive radio station WBAI a little while back, you can listen to that program here. The Anthology has received a lot of press, from independent press to the Nation to the Wall Street Journal. So if you're interested and unfamiliar with this project, search around the internet and you will find a lot of information about what we've been doing!
The anthology isn't finalized yet, so we aren't quite sure the cost of each book. Estimated costs are $12-40 depending on quality. Quality will be determined by the amount of money raised and will consider how many we can print. We want to put out a lasting, quality book... ideally.
$50 donations ensure 1 maybe 2 copies will be printed
$100 donations ensures 2 or 3 or 4 copies are printed.
You get the idea.... Most importantly, we need everyone to spread the campaign to their community and social network. It's important not just to help raise funding, but also to raise awareness about this unique and amazing document. If 400 people donated $100 we'd reach our target, if 1600 people donated $25 we'd reach our target. To take this document and print it and distribute it, is totally worthwhile and reachable goal.
INTERVIEWS REGARDING THE CAMPAIGN:
A number of people have asked if they can make cash donations, to do so please contact me and we can arrange for that to happen. The reason we aren't using paypal: my account was shut down last fall when paypal somehow discovered I was working with the Occupy Movement. I've since learned they have a history of barring users that associate themselves with political action. To everyone that would like to make a cash donation: I will donate the money to the campaign through my bank account and link your name if you wish to be public about your donation. If not, it will go anonymously. Either way, I'd prefer to keep all printing donations lumped together to ensure it's used properly. And to get in contact with me, simply email: stephenjboyer@gmail(DOT)com.
This campaign offers contributors the chance to take part in a historic publishing venture, as this project is open to you to contribute a poem or help print. And by raising funds to print the anthology, we will be able to distribute it freely. So we are creating a book open to all for all. All poems should be sent to stephenjboyer(AT)gmail.com Hear the rumbling in the street? Be the noise! Thank you!