Poetry for Persistence

Poetry for Persistence is a new artist-driven print fundraiser and distribution initiative organized by Press Press and Printed Matter. The project aims to raise funds for organizations whose work and advocacy are especially crucial in this moment, with an emphasis on Baltimore-based groups.

As part of Poetry for Persistence, eleven artists, writers, and organizers have produced risograph-printed artworks reflecting on a set of prompts and sharing visions of collectivity, care, joy, sanctuary, future, and possibility. What does our future look like? What does joy look and feel like? How can we hold ourselves and one another through grief and loss? How do we build sanctuary? How do we honor and care for the collective? What does liberation look like?

Proceeds from the sale of the editions will be distributed across six organizations and initiatives: Baltimore Action Legal Team Community Bail Fund, Sex Workers Outreach Project Baltimore, Baltimore Safe Haven, Keith Davis Jr. Legal Defense Fund, BYP100, & The Free Black Women’s Library’s Sister Outsider Relief Grant.

Alongside the riso prints, the project also circulates care packets made up of collaborative xerox-printed artwork and poetry contributed by community members and gathered by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo and Kimi Hanauer. Print packets are freely distributed by mail to organizers, front-line workers, elders, and others who are collectively guiding us into a more just world in the midst of a global health crisis and fight for Black liberation. All are invited to contribute names of their loved ones and heroes to this growing list, with priority given to BIPOC LGBTQAI+ individuals.

Independent presses, artists, cultural organizers, and others are invited to participate by contributing uplifting poetry, quotes, and artwork - submissions will be printed and distributed in local communities and added to care packages.

Please email presspresspublishing@gmail.com to get involved.

Multicolor riso posters are $40, with 50 copies available of each. 10 x 13.5”

Purchase works here.
Nominate your heroes here.

Nnennaya Amuchie
Current Future(s)

Nnennaya Amuchie

Nnennaya Amuchie is a diehard Black left genderqueer feminist and abolitionist, communist, organizer with Black Youth Project 100, published writer on police violence, and an attorney working to build movement lawyering infrastructure. They believe in a joyful and pleasurable future without police and prisons, where reproductive justice is actualized.


Purchase edition here

as they lay
To Imagine Is To Reconfigure

“The act of reimagining an anti-white supremacist capitalist patriarchal reality births an alternative world and when that world steps into the present it secretes a new life that is sublime and of love. People should also find the way to take people into this imaginative thought and space to rebuild what the future means for us. Find a way to pull people through that portal day to day and truly conjure transformation. “ - as they lay, abdu ali + karryl eugene

as they lay

as they lay (Abdu Ali and Karryl Eugene) is a nomadic curatorial, programming and art making initiative seeking to curate projects and community events that foster collaboration, creative action and reflection. Advocating for those who have been pushed into the margins with an emphasis on black liberation, the goal of as they lay is to curate a myriad of cultural programming and art that will aid in the transformation for a more sustainable, inclusive, nourishing, and interconnected creative climate for artists living in Baltimore.


Abdu Ali is an American avant-garde electronic musician, writer, cultural worker, and multidisciplinary artist who primarily works in sound, dialogue, literary text, and social practice. Their work is a yielding poetic uprise that often interrogates ideas of identity as well as narrates and promotes liberation from oppressive ideologies and systems.


Karryl Eugene is a multimedia artist based in Baltimore. He works in various mediums such as video art, sound art, and painting. Karryl’s work is defined by the power of reflection, we’re he unpacks personal narratives, nurtures his emotionality, and contemplates his existence in the digital age.


Purchase edition here

Lukazabranfmanverissimo (1)
Love to Black Bodies Always

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is a Black, Latinx, queer artist, activist, educator, storyteller & curator who lives and works in Oakland, CA.Their work is informed by a commitment to craft and to community, engagement with society, and interests in storytelling and cultural geography. Through the processes of story collecting, printmaking, painting, performance, sculpture building and curating, they strive to re-create and re-tell their personal tales and those of the people that surround them. Lukaza’s work has most recently been in community with See Black Womxn Collective, No Neutral Alliance and CTRL+SHFT Collective.


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A Survey of Joyful Sensations

Denise Shanté Brown

Denise Shanté Brown is a holistic design strategist living in Baltimore whose lifeswork centers the wellbeing and brilliance of Black womxn and folx who hold marginalized identities. Wholeheartedly and with no apologies.


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Taeyoonchoi (1)
Reconnect with Your Habit, Habitat, and Critters

Taeyoon Choi

Taeyoon Choi is an artist based in New York and Seoul. He seeks a sense of gentleness, justice, solidarity, and intellectual kinship. In 2013, he co-founded the School for Poetic Computation where he continues to teach. He co-organized the Code Ecologies conference about the environmental impact of technology with Nabil Hassein and Sonia Boller. He also co-organized the New York Tech Zine Fair with Mimi Onuoha, Ritu Ghiya, and Neta Bomani. He works with the Deaf and Disability community to enhance accessibility and inclusion in art and technology education.


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Stoop Hang. Janguendo en la acera

Lizania Cruz

Lizania Cruz is a Dominican participatory artist, designer, and curator interested in how migration affects ways of being & belonging. Through research, oral history, and audience participation, she creates projects that highlight a pluralistic narrative on migration. Cruz has been an artist-in-residence and fellow at the Laundromat Project Create Change (2018-2019), Agora Collective Berlin (2018), Design Trust for Public Space (2018), Recess Session (2019), IdeasCity:New Museum (2019), Stoneleaf Retreat (2019), Robert Blackburn Workshop Studio Immersion Project (SIP) (2019), and A.I.R. Gallery (2020-2021).


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Kimihanauer (1)
from an I into a We

Kimi Hanauer

Kimi Hanauer is an artist, cultural organizer, and writer based in Los Angeles. Kimi is the founding editor of Press Press, a publishing studio that aims to shift and deepen the understanding of voices, identities, and narratives that have been suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream. Kimi initiates and produces texts, installations, publications, and events where new modes of collectivity, belonging, and power-sharing can be developed and practiced.



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Georgiamccandlish (1)
…a little wilder

Georgia McCandlish

Georgia McCandlish is a disgruntled gay leo making things in baltimore, md. They make drawings, prints, installations and tattoos. They are a co-founder of Fruit Camp, a multidisciplinary queer arts and tattooing studio, the creator of PEACH PITS zine and an organizer with Baltimore Jail Support.


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Shanwallace (1)

SHAN Wallace

SHAN Wallace (b. 1991) is a nomadic award-winning visual artist, photographer, educator and freedom fighter from East Baltimore, MD.

Inspired by the harsh racial, social and economic realities of her surroundings in Baltimore, SHAN learned about the importance of service, the power of collaboration and the effects of social change at an early age. Now, she uses her lens, collage and in situ installations as the basis of her work, demonstrating the cultural and political narratives of black life, confronting oppressive politics and histories within communities of the African diaspora, and challenging ideas surrounding existing collections, culture and archives of Blackness. Much of SHAN Wallace's work is focused on the Archive-- its history of development, challenges of the modern Archive, Archive as Artwork and how to ethically accumulate primary source documents.


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a note for the comrades

Bilphena Yahwon

Bilphena Yahwon is a Baltimore based writer, abolitionist and restorative practices specialist born in Liberia, West Africa. Yahwon is the author of ‘teaching gold-mah how to heal herself.’ the co-creator of For Black Girls Considering Womanism Because Feminism Is Not Enuf and a core member of Press Press. Her online library, The Womanist Reader, is dedicated to archiving free texts from Black women across the diaspora. Bilphena’s work uses a womanist approach and centers women’s health and well being, intersectionality and abolition. She writes of the immigrant experience, of blackness, and of healing.


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Mimi zhu
On Sanctuary

Mimi Zhu

mimi zhu (they/she) is a queer Chinese-Australian writer who grew up in Brisbane and Singapore and is usually based in Brooklyn. they believe in the radical healing powers of the written word. they feel that there are two fundamental emotions, fear and love, and their work endeavors to dive into understanding and befriending them both.


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Toolkit for Cooperative, Collective, & Collaborative Cultural Work

A new collaboration between Press Press and the Institute for Expanded Research as part of the ongoing project Commune Diverge Shift Connect: A Press Press Chronicle, Toolkit explores the challenges of collective cultural work and shares processes, advice, and resources on overcoming various cultural, financial, and structural obstacles. Read more.

The publication is available online for free, and for purchase here.

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About the supported organizations and initiatives:

Founded in 2013, BYP100 is a member-based organization of Black youth activists dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We mobilize through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and education. Our membership core believes in the principles of decision-making, radical inclusivity, and is building a Black politic through a Black, queer, feminist lens.
More info here.

Keith Davis Jr Legal Defense Fund
This fund supports legal costs associated with the defense of Keith David Jr., a Baltimore resident shot by police in 2015. In a highly controversial case, he was relentlessly pursued by prosecutors across five court hearings, and is currently incarcerated.
More info here.

Baltimore Action Legal Team’s Community Bail Fund
BALT is committed to building the power of the local Movement for Black Lives. We take our direction from community organizing groups who are on the ground, and we respect the leadership of local activists. BALT is committed to anti-racist practices and to black leadership. BALT is dedicated to politically-conscious lawyering and to using creative, collective solutions to support the Movement for Black Lives in Baltimore. BALT has been operating a bail fund since April 2015. In times of crisis, they receive donations and post as many bails as possible.
More info here.

The Free Black Women’s Library’s Sister Outsider Relief Grant
The Free Black Women’s Library is an organization that hosts a mobile library based primarily in New York City, and is focused on sharing literature written by Black women. Their Sister Outsider Relief Grant distributes non-restricted funds to Black single mamas.
More info here

Sex Workers Outreach Project Baltimore
SWOP-Baltimore is a local branch of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities. SWOP focuses on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.
More info here.

Baltimore Safe Haven
Baltimore Safe Haven provides opportunities for a higher quality of life for transgender people in Baltimore City living in survival mode.
More info here.