You’ve found the future home of our Anti-Racism Annual Report, where you will be able to find information on what Poetry Northwest has been doing to support Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of color within our pages and within our greater literary community, as well as our plans for continued work to reject and dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy within our magazine. While we will continue to labor to support all of the various intersecting marginalized people within our literary community, we wish for this page to serve as a place for us to be publicly accountable for our goals as an anti-racist organization seeking to deconstruct its own institutionalized racism. You can find out more about the beginnings of that work below:
- Our magazine must reflect the diversity of our nation. We commit to publishing a magazine with at least 50% of each issue being comprised of poems authored by writers of color.
- It is imperative that our staff include leaders who are writers of color. At the same time, we cannot continue to ask BIPOC poets—some of the most hardworking and overburdened members of our literary community—to contribute to the strength of our magazine without providing financial compensation for their work. We recommit to continuing to actively seek grant funding to support the hiring of BIPOC senior editorial staff who will have a powerful say in the leadership and direction of the magazine.
- Like our Black neighbors and friends, the Indigenous members of our community have been disproportionately affected by police violence. In 2021, through a generous partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures and Hugo House, we commit to launching a significant financial award for a single poem by an Indigenous poet. This will be a fully funded, fee-free prize, judged by a well-known Indigenous poet. In addition to the cash purse, the winner will be invited to Seattle to give a reading alongside the judge of the contest at Hugo House as part of the annual Seattle Arts & Lectures reading series.
- BIPOC youth are some of the most vulnerable and underserved people within our community. Through a partnership with Writers in the Schools, we commit to offering a paid internship to a high school writer of color. Our intern will participate in much more than reading submissions, including web design and assisting in making important decisions about cover art, themes, and special features in each issue.
- A magazine cannot transform from within without reaching out. We recommit to continuing to provide complimentary copies of our magazine to the fellows at Cave Canem, Kundiman, and other summer programs offered by organizations that support writers of color.
- Finally, we would like to encourage you to join us now in making a donation to some of those organizations that are most in need of support at this tenuous moment. We stand on the edge of hope, and acknowledge that without the incredible volunteer activism and organizing of the people at Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, the Northwest Bail Fund, and the National Bail Out, our voices ringing in the streets for change would not be possible. We at Poetry Northwest have donated to these organizations in order to support and join with those protesting police violence and standing up for the value of Black lives. If you can, we hope you will do the same.