Tucson, Arizona. August 9, 2022— The University of Arizona Poetry Center, part of the College of Humanities, is excited to announce a new development in the Art for Justice initiative. Like A Hammer Across the Page: Poets Writing Against Mass Incarceration, has been acquired by Haymarket Books with a projected publication date of Spring 2024 (agented by Kima Jones, Triangle House Literary). The Poetry Center’s Literary Director Diana Marie Delgado (author of Tracing the Horse, BOA Editions, 2019) will edit the anthology.
The original Art for Justice grant at the Poetry Center funded a three-year project, then extended for two additional years, that commissioned new work from leading writers in conversation with the crisis of mass incarceration in the United States, with the goal of creating new awareness and empathy through presentation and publication. In particular, through the work of leading poets, the project seeks to confront racial inequities within the criminal justice system to promote social justice and change.
Like A Hammer Across the Page, once complete, will consist of original work from the following poets: Poet Laureate Ada Limón, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Hanif Abdurraqib, Patricia Smith, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Nicole Sealey, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Raquel Salas Rivera, Randall Horton, Nikky Finney, Patrick Rosal, Angel Nafis, Sin á Tes Souhaits, Evie Shockley, John Murillo, and Natalie Diaz.
The Poetry Center will partner with Freedom Reads and the Ford Foundation’s Art for Justice network of grantees to ensure the book reaches incarcerated readers and writers.
"I'm excited for share a cohort of poets who have written some of the most compelling work to date in response to the topic of mass incarceration. It's truly a special project and I cannot wait for this book to be in conversation with the other important calls for change; it's time, " Delgado said.