Nine Mile Books and Literary Magazine Announces
A Five-Year Poetry Series for Disabled Poets,
With Support from Propel
Nine Mile Magazine and Books is pleased to announce it has received a five-year $100,000 grant to underwrite publication of a series of poetry books by disabled poets. The press anticipates publishing and marketing three books per year, of which one will be chosen from open competition. This gift is the first of its size to focus on disabled poets.
The grant from Propel provides a commitment of $20,000 per year, plus another $10,000 challenge grant—meaning if matched, the potential commitment could reach $40,000 per year for publishing, editing, and marketing poetry books by disabled poets.
“We have never seen a commitment to disabled poets of this size,” Nine Mile publisher Stephen Kuusisto said. “It is truly unique, and the strength and scope of this initiative is unprecedented in its focus on these most marginalized of artists.”
Kuusisto is a nationally known poet, memoirist, and disability advocate, author of Planet of the Blind and several other books of poetry and memoirs. Blind himself, he is Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach for the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, and a University Professor.
The editing and administrative structure for the series will be different than for other books from Nine Mile. “Not only the authors but the editors will be themselves disabled,” Mr. Kuusisto said. “We intend to produce this series under the principle of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us.’” One of the books selected to be published each year by Nine Mile will be a recipient of the Propel Poetry Prize. That selection will be chosen via open competition. The series will be named the Propel Disability Poetry series.
“We are very grateful to Jeremy Mindich, co-founder of Propel, and his team, who made this grant possible,” said Nine Mile co-publisher Bob Herz. “It is a wonderfully generous and visionary commitment, at a level and with an understanding that will make a difference in the world of poetry.”
Propel is a philanthropic fund dedicated to building a world where everyone has a chance to thrive. “We are pleased to support the amplification of new voices through this partnership with Nine Mile Books and look forward to sharing the craft of these poets more broadly,” said Jeremy Mindich, co-founder of Propel. Propel’s focus also includes reimagining a democracy and economy that work for the many, investing in early-stage ventures and visionary leaders challenging the status quo and driving transformational change.
Nine Mile Books and Literary Magazine are produced by Nine Mile Art Corp, a tax exempt not for profit located in Syracuse, NY. It has been publishing the magazine and books on a regular basis since 2016. In 2019 it published an historic 380-page anthology issue of disabled poets, and has maintained a strong commitment to advancing poetry and training for poets with a disability.