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"On the morning of March 27th, 2011, 72 people fled Tripoli on an inflatable boat, expecting to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa. Instead, though, their boat ran out of fuel and rather than being rescued by one of the many vessels in these highly surveilled waters, the boat drifted for 14 days until all but 11 of the passengers perished. Survivors recount various points of contact with the external world during their ordeal, such as a military helicopter lowering a few packets of biscuits and bottles of water. No vessel chose to provide any assistance whatsoever to the passengers. The events, as recounted by those aboard the Left-to-Die Boat, appeared to constitute a severe violation of the legal obligation to provide assistance to any person in distress at sea." (Forensic Architecture) “An act of recovery, of countermemory, of memorial, of resistance, Syncope represents one of poetry’s powers: to write the unwriteable, to bring voices, history, and lives forth from the depths.” — John Keene

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Featured on October 7, 2019

Hustling Verse

In this trailblazing anthology, more than fifty self-identified sex workers from all walks of the industry (survival and trade, past and present) explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. In a variety of forms ranging from lyrics to list poems to found poetry to hybrid works, these authors express themselves with the complexity, agency, and honesty that sex workers are rarely afforded. Contributors from Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia include Gregory Scofield, Tracy Quan, Summer Wright, and Akira the Hustler. As an antidote to the invasive and often biased media depictions of sex workers, Hustling Verse is a fiercely groundbreaking exploration of intimacy, transactional sex, identity, healing, and resilience.

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Featured on September 30, 2019

Beyond the Rented World

Two of my favorite Bernadette Mayer writing experiments propose that we “write a work that intersperses love with landlords” and "attempt writing in a state of mind that seems least congenial.” Mayer, our poet of real talk about money, asks us to look for the landlords always there in the workings of our lives together, refusing repairs, evicting low-income tenants (more than 1 in 10 NYC public-school students have no permanent address), and all the time undercutting the potential of our relations. There’s nothing inherently protective in poetry—some poets are landlords—but these poems think through processes of imagining an unrented life in stages ranging from the fed up to the least congenial. [If you can, support anti-gentrification work in your area. Some NYC-based organizations: Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network, Equality for Flatbush, Queens Anti-Gentrification Project, Bronx Community Vision, Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, and CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities]

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Featured on September 23, 2019


With its queerness and excavation of history, Xandria Phillips’ HULL lives somewhere between Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead and Rachel McKibbens's Blud; the result is bodily, razor-sharp, and wholly unforgettable. I didn't know how badly I needed these poems until they were unfurling in my hands, devastating and brilliant. - CARMEN MARIA MACHADO

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