Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora received a Literary Arts Emergency Fund award of $15,000. Obsidian is one of 313 literary arts organizations and publishers across the United States to receive funding for the historically underfunded field of literary arts.
The Literary Arts Emergency Fund was initiated and administered by the Academy of American Poets, Community of Literary Magazine & Presses (CLMP), National Book Foundation, and made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.
“These grants remain vital as the impact of the COVID-19 emergency remains very much in our lives,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Mellon Foundation. “Across the United States, readers, writers, poets, students, and teachers rely on our nation’s vibrant ecosystem of literary magazines, presses, and organizations that uncover the power and possibility of the arts. literature to the general public. We are proud to continue our support of this emergency fund and look forward to the remarkable poetry and literature it will help cultivate.
“Literary magazines and small presses provide a first home for thousands of emerging writers each year, and they champion the work of poets, short-story writers, and literary prose writers throughout their careers. They are essential to the publishing ecosystem,” said Mary Gannon, executive director of the Community of Magazines and Book Presses.
Obsidian’s vision includes providing a platform for the evolution of African diaspora writers and the literary ecosystem of black voices during what will likely be times of ongoing political violence, cycles of epidemic and pandemic recovery and anti-racism uprising. Obsidian has become an important cultural treasure of the African Diaspora and a vital resource, keeping writing current and remaining relevant to a contemporary and international body of writers and readers. We are committed to finding innovative ways to open new channels of communication with people who need access to the knowledge base we’ve been building for more than four decades.
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