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Help the87press continue publishing in 2021

For more information and details on the crowdfunder please click here.

Why are the87press crowdfunding?

The COVID-19 landscape has placed the culture and arts scenes of the UK in a crisis. We understand that the Arts Council has been left to pick up the huge responsibility of funding the wide variety of arts and culture projects and organisations in the UK. The87press, however, has been met with 2 rejections by the Arts Council on what we feel are incomprehensible and ever-changing grounds and criteria.

Our first 2 years of activity were mainly funded through our Director and two small Arts Council grants. The87 is extremely grateful to the Arts Council for their support in our initial 2 years. But COVID has impacted our operations significantly, at a time when we are expanding, growing, and adjusting to an increasingly virtual/online poetry landscape. Our Director has been out of regular freelance work for the majority of this year due to the impacts of COVID-19. Our Head Editor also had COVID-19 and as a result has left their employment to allow for recuperation. The87, however, was able to use a bridging Arts Council emergency grant to help out freelancers and precariously employed artists/writers over the first UK lockdown and produce 5 books. Unfortunately, the87 lost a valuable source of regular income without events and the impact on sales due to the closure of independent bookstores in the lockdown climate. During the second lockdown, the87 sent free books to students who were being isolated in halls of residence as well as donating to a local foodbank in South London. We want to continue with these local, national, and international community focussed actions.

We are an altruistic press in need of an investment of £65000 – 1300 x £50 donations – to help us grow and sustain our work over the next 12 months. This money will actively benefit 80 artists. We present it to you, the people, to see if this something you would support in any way you can. Your money will be spent on curating artists for our online series, printing costs, design and typesetting of books, paying our two full-time staff as well as our freelance videography team who help maintain a free access to our digital archive of events. We are offering a wide variety of subscriptions, books and tote bags, in return for donations between £10 and £200.

The Plan

In 2021 we want to produce 7 poetry collections and a collected edition of creative-critical essays. We will also curate 10 events and 12 online publications. We will produce an additional 3 events, 2 in partnership with Camden Arts Centre and 1 in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts. We will also be continuing our educational outreach to help inspire, mentor, and work with the next generation of writers and publishers through workshops at Roehampton University, King’s College London, University of Sussex, Boston University (Online) and Loughborough University.

About Us

Since our inception in 2018, the87press has advocated for a model of publishing that attends to diversity, innovation, fair payments for authors and staff, accessible events and free online content. We have published to date 14 books, hosted 16 events, and published 28 pieces as part of our online Digital Poetics series. We have also curated a Marxism lecture series, collaborated with Camden Arts Centre on events, participated in educational workshops at Roehampton University and Nottingham University. We've also spoken about our work and our publications at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Coast is Queer Festival, and Goldsmith's University. We also collaborated with Asylum Studios in Suffolk to curate a poetry reading in response to an exhibition of Gyan Sharma's art; Gyan is a neurodiverse artist based in London. This crowdfund will see us continue our print and online publications, collaborate with more universities, as well as host public events with Camden Arts and the Institute of Contemporary arts in addition to our regular online/in-person events series.

We are a small press with big aspirations who put diversity into action with a team ethic of radical inclusivity. We are publishing home for people who don't have access to the world of publishing, debut authors from underrepresented backgrounds, experimental writers whose work deserves a platform to promote its aesthetics without limiting or restricting the work. We continue to prove distributors and the middlemen of the publishing industry wrong, grassroots literature is unique in its contribution to the creative engines of the UK. Since our inception we made the decision to work exclusively with independent stores and use our online shop to help us maintain accessibility for a growing international readership. We don’t have a distributor, we self-distribute using local and international postal services, proving that timely deliveries are possible outside of an Amazon model. We use a small local printer who have been working in the bookmaking industry for 30 years and have helped us since our inception to produce the quality books we are renowned for.

In times of financial hardship we keep our book prices down, at £10 maximum per book. We want to be an active part of a collective grassroots publishing movement which proves that there is an alternative way of 'doing publishing.' Your continued support at events and your continued interest in purchasing and reviewing/sharing the books we publish have made us believe it is possible. We are a community focussed company seeking to continue our work and mature into an established press. We want to continue doing what we do best: bringing you some of the most exciting and new UK-based cultural productions.

What follows is a comprehensive account of the books we are producing and the authors/artists we are working with. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and, we hope, for donating to our cause.

For more information and details on the crowdfunder please click here.

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