Red Epic (Joshua Clover)
Red Epic (Joshua Clover)

Commune Editions began with Bay Area friendships formed in struggle: the occupations in resistance to UC tuition hikes in 2009-11; the anti-police uprisings after the shooting of Oscar Grant that continued with the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner; and the local version of Occupy, referred to by some as the Oakland Commune. In these moments, the people committed to poetry and the people committed to militant political antagonism came to be more and more entangled, turned out to be the same people. This felt transformative to us, strange and beautiful. A provisionally new strain of poetry has begun to emerge from this entanglement with communist and anarchist organizing, theorizing, and struggle.

This work inspires us. Because there was no existing venue attuned to these changes, we decided to start one. We committed first our own work to this project, and brought our experience with other presses. We hope to publish poetry for reading and writing explicitly against the given world, always aware that it begins inside that world—and to put this work in dialogue with poetries from other countries and from other historical moments, times and places where the politicization of poetry and the participation of poets in uprisings large and small was and remains a convention.

We are curious about, but not overconfident regarding, the capacities of art. Poems are no replacement for concrete forms of political action. But poetry can be a companion to these activities, as the “Riot Dog” of Athens was a companion in streets. A dog, too, might start barking when the cops are about to kick down your door. Perhaps that’s it, for now, what we’re doing, what is to be done, with poetry. Some barking. Some letting you know that the cops are at the door. They’ve been there for a while.

We have plans to publish two or three books a year for as long as these specific orientations seem magnetic. We have our list for 2015-2016 and are not presently reading manuscripts. But we will be. Check back here for details.

Commune Editions is published in partnership with AK Press and distributed in the US and Canada by Consortium.


FORTHCOMING TITLES INCLUDE 

Red Epic by Joshua Clover
will be published as a paperback original on April 7th, 2015
$16.00 | ISBN: 978-1934639160| 96 pages

Red Epic invents a volatile poetry for a world on fire, written to illuminate the wreckage of the most recent gilded age. Leaping levels from global systems to street fights and back again, accompanied by a Top 40 soundtrack full of Robyn and M.I.A., it remixes utopian hope and revolutionary antagonism.

We Are Nothing and So Can You by Jasper Bernes
will be published as a paperback original on June 15th, 2015
$16.00 | ISBN: 978-1934639153| 120 pages

We Are Nothing and So Can You is an epic poem of revolt against capitalism past, present, and future. In alternating passages of rhapsodic verse and speculative prose, Jasper Bernes’s long poem plots the dynamic movement of history, both irreversible and recursive, moving forward directly and by twists and turns, in lines and sentences. This is a communist poetics for the twenty-first century.

That Winter the Wolf Came by Juliana Spahr
will be published as a paperback original on August 30th, 2015
$16.00 | ISBN: 978-1934639177| 120 pages 

That Winter the Wolf Came is a poetry written for this era of global struggle. It finds its ferment at the intersection of ecological and economic catastrophe such as the carbon catastrophes of Deepwater Horizon and the burning Kuwaiti oilfields. And it finds its feminist, ferocious, and finally celebratory energy in the example of the street protests of Oakland, California, and elsewhere.

A Series of Un/Natural/Disasters by Cheena Marie Lo
will be published as a paperback original in 2016

Still Dirty: Poems 2009-2015 by David Lau
will be published as a paperback original in 2016

 


Press/Media contact: Alyson Sinclair at aly@alysonsinclairpr.com.

Bookseller/Librarian/Educator contact: AK Press at orders@akpress.org or 510.208.1700.

Editors: Jasper Bernes, Joshua Clover, and Juliana Spahr


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