Poetry for Persistence is a new artist-driven print fundraiser and distribution initiative organized by Press Press and Printed Matter. The project aims to raise funds for organizations whose work and advocacy are especially crucial in this moment, with an emphasis on Baltimore-based groups.
As part of Poetry for Persistence, eleven artists, writers, and organizers have produced risograph-printed artworks reflecting on a set of prompts and sharing visions of collectivity, care, joy, sanctuary, future, and possibility. What does our future look like? What does joy look and feel like? How can we hold ourselves and one another through grief and loss? How do we build sanctuary? How do we honor and care for the collective? What does liberation look like?
Proceeds from the sale of the editions will be distributed across six organizations and initiatives: Baltimore Action Legal Team Community Bail Fund, Sex Workers Outreach Project Baltimore, Baltimore Safe Haven, Keith Davis Jr. Legal Defense Fund, BYP100, & The Free Black Women’s Library’s Sister Outsider Relief Grant.
Alongside the riso prints, the project also circulates care packets made up of collaborative xerox-printed artwork and poetry contributed by community members and gathered by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo and Kimi Hanauer. Print packets are freely distributed by mail to organizers, front-line workers, elders, and others who are collectively guiding us into a more just world in the midst of a global health crisis and fight for Black liberation. All are invited to contribute names of their loved ones and heroes to this growing list, with priority given to BIPOC LGBTQAI+ individuals.
Independent presses, artists, cultural organizers, and others are invited to participate by contributing uplifting poetry, quotes, and artwork – submissions will be printed and distributed in local communities and added to care packages.