Poetry for Organizers and Activists

This political moment asks all of us to re-imagine what we do and how we do it. Your gift will help re-imagine the connection between the arts and social change movements. Give now to send two new books to organizers and activists working on climate, racial, and economic justice issues.

Every day, organizers and activists show up to challenge and transform the broken systems that we live within. This is hard work, often unseen or invisibilized. These are the folks who are helping to create a new world that we can all live and thrive in. 

As a thank-you for their work, and as part of releasing new art into the world, we are fundraising to give poetry to organizers, activists, and healers. This is the gift economy in action!

We will be reaching out to organizations to invite their staff and/or members to sign up to receive a copy of Tamiko Beyer's new collection, Last Days and the poet and performance artist Gabrielle Civil’ s newest chapbook, ( ghost gestures ). These organizations include:

* Indigenous Environmental Network 
* Movement for Black Lives
* 18 Million Rising
* Freedom Inc
* Tsuru for Solidarity
* People for the Global Majority One
* FANG collective
* Soul Fire Farms
* Allied Media Project
* National Domestic Workers Project

The funds raised here will go toward purchasing and mailing these books to at least 250 organizers, activists, and healers.  They will also go toward paying poets, musicians, artists, speakers, translators, and organizers for upcoming, accessible, book-launch related events.

Thank you for helping to create new systems within the capitalist waters we swim in!

Want to know more? Keep scrolling.

What’s the genesis of this project?

Every day, it becomes more and more clear that we are living within deeply broken systems. We believe this moment calls on all of us to re-imagine what we do and how we do it. It asks us to think about our work, whatever it is, wherever we are, in new ways—ways that build an alternative to the deeply damaged and damaging world we live within. It calls us to build the most loving, abundant, collective world we can imagine.

For Tamiko, this meant looking at the release of her next poetry collection, Last Days (Alice James Books), in April 2021 and to expansively imagine new ways to move it out into the world. She is interested in creating an alternative model to traditional book launches--one that relies less on capitalist modes of competition, scarcity, and extraction, and instead foregrounds relationships and collaboration, abundance, and a gift economy.

She is also interested in exploring how this moment can be a catalyst for new ways of thinking about the intersection of arts and organizing, poetry and movement work. Learn more here .

I’m an organizer, activist, cultural work, and/or healer. How do I sign up to receive these books?

Wonderful! You can sign up here .

Tell me more about Tamiko Beyer and Last Days

Last Days (Alice James Books) is a poetic practice of radical imagination for our current political and environmental crises. It excavates the conditions that have brought us to this moment—white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, corporate power, and capitalism. It explores how we might transform these conditions to usher in a future that is more beautiful, more just, and more loving than we can even imagine. The poems call on ancestors, birds, organizers, and love to conjure the “bricks and mortar” of this new world. It is an offering to all of us who need to ground in our power so we can do the work of transforming our world.

"At a time when we are moving so fast we forget to breathe, Last Days asks us to stop, to think, to see. These poems examine the joy of struggle and the interconnectedness of all things, dissolving the borders between nature and humanity and past and present. To those who have been in the fight a long time, who are tired, who want to rest, and who want to win, these are vital, nourishing, life-giving words."
-Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Director of Caring Across Generations

In addition to Last Days, Tamiko is the author of the poetry collection We Come Elemental (Alice James Books, 2013) and two poetry chapbooks. She publishes Starlight & Strategy, a monthly newsletter for living life wide awake and shaping change. She has received awards, fellowships, and residencies from PEN America, Kundiman, Hedgebrook, VONA, and the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, among others. She is a queer, mixed race (Japanese and white), cisgender woman and femme, living in on the land of the Massachusett people. A social justice communications writer and strategist, she spends her days writing truth to power. More at tamikobeyer.com

Tell me more about Gabrielle Civil and ( ghost gestures )

What writing on the wall or underneath the skin? How can you return where you’ve never been? ( ghost gestures ) (Gold Line Press) conjures diaspora hauntings and traces black bodies across space and time. In Dakar and Banjul, Detroit and Montreal, Tlaxcala and Río Piédras, Gabrielle Civil showcases black bodies dancing, hiding and re-emerging. In performance writing, she plays hide-and-seek with her own transforming body. Invoking figures of the doll, the queen, and the ghost, she explores where black women have never and always been. From mammy to muñeca, mural to Haitian mythology, she tackles history, identity, art, and desire. “bring this here/ bring this back/ keep this here/ bring us back/ bring us here / bring us back to this.” Incorporating chants, notations, images, and scores, ( ghost gestures ) performance writing spirits you away.

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, poet, and writer, originally from Detroit MI. She has premiered fifty performance works around the world and her performance memoirs include Swallow the Fish (2017), Experiments in Joy (2019), longlisted for The Believer Book Prize in Nonfiction, and ( ghost gestures ) (2021), winner of the Gold Line Nonfiction Chapbook contest selected by Bhanu Kapil. Her writing has also appeared in Experiments in Joy: a Workbook, Dancing While Black, Small Axe, Obsidian, Bone Bouquet and the anthologies Black in the Middle, Kitchen Table Translation, and New Daughters of Africa. A 2019 Rema Hort Mann LA Emerging Artist, she teaches creative writing and critical studies at the California Institute of the Arts. The aim of her work is to open up space.
  • Chanon Judson 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Toni King 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Mary Anne Lynn 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Mary Anne Lynn 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Last Days Launch Crew (3)

Tamiko Beyer 
Boston, MA
Charlotte Abotsi 
Team member
Charlotte Bartter 
Team member
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