September 29, 2021 (New York, NY)— The three national nonprofit literary arts organizations that launched the Literary Arts Emergency Fund (LAEF) last year—the Academy of American Poets, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), and National Book Foundation—have come together again to renew the LAEF and provide another round of critical funding for nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers experiencing continued financial losses due to COVID-19. Regrants from this fund are made possible by a renewed grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

“Poets and writers drive our country’s vibrant literary culture, and their dedication to their craft continues to give solace to readers, students, and communities across the United States,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “We are honored to extend our funding for the Literary Arts Emergency Fund, and to support these artists and the literary organizations that elevate their work.”

According to the Americans for the Arts’ survey on the economic impact of COVID-19, by the beginning of 2021 alone, nonprofit literary arts organizations were already reporting over $11.7 million in total financial losses. 

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen many millions more people turn to poetry—they’re coming to to read poems and attending online readings," said Jennifer Benka, President & Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets. "Poetry, as the poet Edward Hirsch once wrote, ‘companions’ us. The Academy is pleased to be able to offer support to those organizations whose poetry publications and programs bring comfort and courage in this time.

“Mission-driven literary magazines and presses form the bedrock of the publishing ecosystem, fostering an environment where literary artists and their work can flourish,” said Mary Gannon, Executive Director of CLMP. “By supporting these dedicated publishers through the ongoing challenges they face, we ensure that the diverse array of voices they amplify will continue to be heard.”

“Nonprofit literary arts organizations champion books, and their transformative ability to connect readers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “These organizations do this work hand-in-hand with writers inside of schools and prisons, on stages and in community centers, in all 50 states. What an honor it is to help uplift such vital work and strive to address the deep financial need across the field, which is even more profound this year than last.”

The application portal will open in November 2021 and close in January 2022. Nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers may view guidelines at once the portal opens in November. The Academy of American Poets, CLMP, and the National Book Foundation will also host an information session on how to apply in the fall. Applicants will be notified and grants will be distributed in April 2022.

Individuals from the literary arts community who were interested in serving as a panelist in the administration of this fund were able to self-nominate for consideration in the jury selection process. Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Alberto Ríos, and Janice Lobo Sapigao will serve as the judicial panel and review applications on behalf of the Academy of American Poets.

About the Academy of American Poets

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. The organization annually awards more funds to individual poets than any other organization through its prize program, giving a total of $1.25 million to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture.

About the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses

CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven independent literary magazines and presses thrive. Since 1967, CLMP has provided publishers with funding and technical assistance; facilitated peer-to-peer learning and group action; served as a dependable, essential hub for best practices, resources, and nurturing community support; and connected publishers with other groups of literary stakeholders, including readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, educators, presenting organizations, and funders. Along with directly serving 800+ publishers located in almost every state in the country, CLMP administers the Lit Mag Adoption program, which provides educators and students with discounted magazine subscriptions; the annual Indie Lit Fair, in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival; and the Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature, which celebrate magazines and books that make a significant contribution to our literary culture, among other programs.

About the National Book Foundation

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. The Foundation approaches this work from three programmatic angles: Awards & Honors, recognizing exceptional authors, literature, and literary programs; Education & Access initiatives, helping young and adult readers develop a lifelong passion for books; and Public Programs, bringing acclaimed authors to communities nationwide to engage in conversations about books and the power of literature as a tool for understanding our world, cultivating meaningful discourse around the issues of our age. The National Book Awards, the National Book Foundation’s signature program, was established in 1950 and is one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. Many previous Winners of the National Book Awards are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, including Robert A. Caro, Ralph Ellison, Louise Erdrich, Denis Johnson, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Maurice Sendak, and Jesmyn Ward.