*Totals will be updated weekly.

Total Raised: $2,828

 

Hey folks! Trans-Genre Press is fundraising to publish Writing the Walls Down and we need your help!

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Writing the Walls Down emerged out of a 2010 National Queer Arts Festival performance, The Walls Project, co-curated by the editors, Amir Rabiyah and Helen Klonaris, and is a multi-genre gathering of US and international voices in an effort to generate a cross cultural and nuanced dialogue that not only examines the power of walls to divide, but walls as sites of resistance, (re)connection, and community.


 

Here’s the new breakdown:

  • $2,250 – Contributor Compensation ($50 x 45 contributors)
  • $2,499 – Printing (300 copies)
  • $1,000 – Proofreading, Paypal Transaction Fee’s, Shipping (cost to ship contributors copies and initial copies from fundraising)

Total = $5,749

Read about Helen and Amir’s process for curating Writing the Walls Down.

button_donatePerks:

  • $1+ : Pre-release preview of Writing the Walls Down (Digital), and a super thank you shout out on our Social Networks!
  • $10 All previous perks + Writing the Walls Down e-book!
  • $25+ : All previous perks + A copy of Writing the Walls Down shipped directly to you before it hits the book shelves!
  • $50+ : All previous perks + one copy of WtWD donated to a community center of your choice!
  • $100+ : A copy of Writing the Walls Down signed by the editors shipped directly to you before it hits the book shelves, and one donated to a community center of your choice!
  • $250+ : All previous perks + an online discussion (via skype, google chat, or other platform) with A.J. Bryce, Director of Trans-Genre Press, discussing radical organizing and answering questions about indie publishing. (get 10 friends together for a group chat and it’s only $25/person!)
  • $500+ : All previous perks + a 60% discount off 1 weeks rental fee at the Spirit House, a cultural/arts/spiritual retreat center for artists/creative folks/spiritual communities/LGBTQ communities in the Bahama’s!

How long do we have to wait for our Perks?

The Anthology is near completion. Soon after we raise the money, we’ll be ready to print the first copies of Writing the Walls Down. At that time, everyone who has donated will gain access to their pre-release preview. It takes about 3 weeks to print and ship the books, and as soon as we get them we’ll start sending them out to the contributors and donors. Allow another 2-3 weeks for signed copies. An Online meeting with the Publisher can be scheduled anytime.

Spirit House is a cultural/arts/spiritual retreat center for artists/creative folks/spiritual communities/LGBTQ communities in the Bahama’s. Spirit House is an entirely off-grid home set in a pristine tropical wilderness 3 miles down a private road from the nearest settlement of Devils Point, Cat Island, The Bahamas. The house features 5 bedrooms and comfortably accommodates 10-15 people. The traditional weekly rate is $5,000/wk, but contributors at the $500+ level are offered a 60% discount, bringing the rate down to $2,000/wk ($3,000 Value!). Rental Dates for the Retreat Center in the Bahama’s can be negotiated with Andrew @Spirit House. All other travel expenses are the responsibility of the Donor. Visit spirithousebahamas.com for more info about the retreat.

What happens if we meet our goal?

If we meet our goal then we celebrate! It takes a whole lot of folks to make this happen, and meeting our goal means a beautiful convergence of so many people in our intersecting communities. Aside from celebrating, meeting our goal means:

  • we can print 1,000 copies of Writing the Walls Down
  • pay our contributors immediately
  • keep our book price lower and more accessible
  • Ship out all the initial copies of WtWD to contributors and donors
  • pay up on all the Perks!
  • and begin to turn a profit on the very first book sale, helping to create a sustainable future for Writing the Walls Down and Trans-Genre Press

What happens if we exceed our goal?

More power to the people! If we make more than the $9,150 we’re aiming for in the next 30 days, we’ll hold up to $1k in the Trans-Genre budget to use for any other costs that may come up for the Anthology or the Press. Anything beyond $10,150 will be divided up equally between the writers and artists of Writing the Walls Down. So, say we make $15,150 in 30 days…

  • Writing the Walls down gets published
  • Trans-Genre Press starts to earn a profit and build a more sustainable future
  • each contributor would earn a total of $162 for their work (better wages for our lgbtq community!)

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Other questions answered:

 

What happens if we don’t meet our goal?

As the Director, I am 100% committed to seeing this through. This is a commitment I’ve made to the editors, the contributors, and our communities. Not meeting our goal means things might take a little longer to launch, and it would take us longer to pay our contributors. It would mean a harder and longer struggle to a sustainable future for Trans-Genre Press. That being said, I’m ready and willing to push forward to make Writing the Walls Down successful with every penny donated. Nothing is too small to make this happen.

Why aren’t you using kickstarter, or indiegogo, or some other fundraising platform?

We want to make sure as much of your donation as possible is going to the project you are trying to support. With most fundraising platforms, there are fee’s and other obligations to meet in order to use their services. Hosting the fundraiser independently means we can maximize our communities resources and start using the funds immediately. It also means we are not supporting other fundraisers that work counter to our communities needs and our goals. Although it would be nearly impossible for us to avoid any third-party fees (we’re using Paypal to process online donations, for example) the fewer parties involved means more resources funneled into the community this fundraiser is trying to support.

How can I become a Sustaining Contributor?

button_ContributeEvery little bit helps, so even if you can’t make a large donation at once, donating even $5 a month continues to help Trans-Genre Press grow and create a more sustainable platform for community powered media. Sign up as a Sustaining Contributor by clicking the button below, entering the amount you’d like to donate per month, and clicking the “Make This Recurring (Monthly)” box.

*Bonus: If you sign up as a Sustaining Contributor by 5/15/15 we’ll consider the total of your first 3 months contribution towards the Perk as listed above. (for example, a $10 recurring donation today will get you the $25+ Perk, and so on).



Helen Klonaris is a Greek Bahamian writer living in the Bay Area, California, where she teaches creative writing and mythology at the Academy of Art University. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including The Caribbean Writer, SX Salon, Tongues of the Ocean, Poui, ProudFlesh, and Calyx, and several anthologies, including Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writings from the Antilles, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Her story “Cowboy” was shortlisted in the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and she has completed her debut collection of short stories, The Lovers.

As a queer white woman from a Caribbean society, I’m troubled by the tradition of walls that have been used to keep people of color out, and in. Plantation walls, prison walls, church walls, and now the walls of gated communities; these walls control access to resources, they control the way we think about where we belong, and our power in the world as black and brown and white people. They’ve been used to protect white people’s assets and entitlement, and to reinforce a world view of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. I’m hoping this anthology will bring forward a critique of walls from a unique perspective – queer and trans people of color and their white allies.

AmirAmir Rabiyah is a queer, disabled and two-spirit writer of Lebanese, Syrian, Cherokee, and European ancestry. Amir has been published in Mizna, Sukoon, The Feminist Wire, Bird’s Thumb, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetryand Poetics, Enizigam, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality, and more. Amir currently lives in San Diego with their partner, and is working on completing a full length collection of poetry.

We don’t have enough conversations about how physical barriers cause internal barriers. On the outside, they have a purpose, to put people in their place. But how do these walls show up in our relationship to ourselves, to the world, and to each other? They show up in stories like ‘I don’t trust people’ and an internalization of scarcity.

Contributors:

Janine Mogannam, H. MeltEli ClareJerrold YamRajiv MohabirMoon Flowermicha cárdenasAhmunet Jessica JordonMinal HajratwalaJuly Westhale, deborah brandon, Dane Slutzky, Joy Ladin, librecht baker, Margaret Robinson, Alex SimõesIndira Allegra, Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Patricia Powell, Vickie VértizCeleste ChanAlexis Gumbs, Hannah J Stein, TC Tolbert, Jordan Rice, Andrea Lambert, Alfonzo Moret, Trish Salah, Tiffany HigginsVanessa Huang, Daniel Chan, Amal RanaAhimsa Timoteo BodhránAaron M. Ambroselee boudakianThokozane Minah, Nayrouz Abu Hatoum, Jennie Kermode, fabian romeroKay Ulanday Barrett, Vivian Lopez, Danez Smith, Aiyyana Maracle, Sônia Maria Chaves Nepomuceno, adrienne maree brown

What People Are Saying about Writing the Walls Down…

Rabiyah and Klonaris have compiled works that redefine sexuality and brownness with a spirit that brings us back to the earth, and gives comfort in the atrocities of labels, lines and edges that have long confined, shamed and silenced our queer realities. Writing the Walls Down contains a cadre of troubadors who, with moxie and wisdom, redefine who we are with lyrical libation, beauty and vulnerability. Here is where an exciting mythology is born, the Genesis of a new queer fierceness in literature. These artists delve into the very canyons of their being to birth poetic truths and meditations of healing. Every piece in this anthology is packed with poignant self-reflection and gospel hymnals that inspire compassion in the cruelest times.”

 

Bravo, Amir Rabiyah and Helen Klonaris, for curating such an extraordinary community in the pages of Writing the Walls Down. What rises up is a chorus of poetry, story, and testimony that substantiates our varied queer experiences. Anyone who enters here will not feel isolated or alone because this book is an invitation into the heart of the powerful, life-saving word–a crucial place where many of us find our kindred spirit, our blessed haven, our tribe, our home.

 

Eugenics. Colonialism. Familial, religious, and state violence. These are not the stories about LGBTQ lives and struggles that we hear about in the mainstream media. Thankfully, the artists in Writing the Walls Down stitch together words and images to tell a different story, one that resists simple “equality” or “inclusion.” This collection brings together the full complexities and realities of our lives to topple the all of the walls that crisscross our homelands, bodies, and spirits.

-Qwo-Li Driskill, author of Walking with Ghosts: Poems

 

The texts included in this fierce, beautiful weave of LGBTQ texts (groundbreaking in many ways, including in the rich inclusion of Arab and Indigenous contributors) speak, shout, and sing past the different kinds of walls that imprison, exclude, and alienate, whether personal, societal, economic, religious, geographical, or political. Challenging barricades ranging from class to homophobia to anti-queer violence to Israel’s apartheid wall to the US-Mexico exclusionary border, these writers celebrate bodies and spirits both broken and sacred, reclaim healing and wholeness, and map the way toward new definitions of home.

-Lisa Suhair Majaj, author of Geographies of Light

This collection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and visual art crackles with urgency, emotion and intelligence.  It bursts forth from the pressurized isolation created by assumptions and ignorance, ushering into the world transformative stories that are vital to our survival.

We understand that not everyone can contribute a financial donation, but there are other ways to help! Please,

  • share this page with your social networks
  • personally email 5-10 of your close friends and encourage them to check out our video
  • bring up Writing the Walls Down in your classrooms, organizations, and community centers
  • Contact Helen and Amir at AHA Collective to set up a reading or workshop
  • and most importantly, take care of yourselves, find strength, and continue contributing to global resistance and healing in all the ways that you can and already do.

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