AAP, CLMP, and NBF Provide $4.3 Million in Second Round of Emergency Funding for Literary Organizations and Publishers

September 2021



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 Poets.org 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. Literary organizations and publishers may view guidelines at https://literaryartsemergencyfund.submittable.com/submit 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.