Black Lives Matter

Black lives have built and sustained our country for centuries. It is no overstatement to say that most of the things we have to be grateful for—which includes the long and successful life of this magazine—have been built one way or another on the backs of people of color, but most especially on the backs of Black and Indigenous people. Poetry Northwest stands in solidarity with all those who fight for justice and equity for Black lives. And we pledge to be a part of that fight as we join the chorus of voices proclaiming that Black Lives Matter, that George Floyd matters, that Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and Manuel Ellis and Dominique Clayton and all the many other beautiful Black people murdered by police and self-proclaimed vigilantes matter.

But as we all know, voices—on the page or on the air—are not enough. While poetry can be a unifying force, a tool for awareness and awakening, a balm in times of trouble, and a galvanizing scream, Poetry Northwest is not just about poems. We are also about community, and that means doing everything we can to stand in solidarity with and offer tangible support to our Black neighbors and friends. We at Poetry Northwest are actively committed to practicing anti-racism within our magazine and utilizing our resources to do the ongoing work of dismantling white supremacy from within and without.

To that end, we are launching a new Anti-Racism Initiatives Annual Report. This report will have a permanent home on our website, and will chronicle what Poetry Northwest has been doing to support writers of color within our pages and within our greater literary community, as well as our plans for continued work to reject and deconstruct systemic racism within our magazine. We hope you will click the link today and read more about the steps we are taking to actively pursue justice and equity here at home.

Finally, we have compiled a list of resources to help guide you in the fight in the time ahead. However, Black Lives Matter remains the best primary resource for evolving strategies you can adopt to promote change. We hope you will join us in contributing to what will surely be some of the most important work of our lives. The writers who fill our pages, the readers who devour those poems, and the muses who inspire every word that we print are the same people standing in the streets demanding justice and reform. We are them and are with them, always.