A Family of Projects Advancing Poetry, Arts, and Justice
In January 2015, Michael Broder told Lisa Andrews that she was going to write a book and he was going to publish it. So was born Indolent Books. In February 2015, at an LGBTQ reading during the annual AWP conference in Minneapolis, Michael got the idea for an anthology of poems about how people today live with HIV or in proximity to HIV or with the risk of HIV. So was born the HIV Here & Now project. In the fall of 2016, Michael began curating the second Friday of the month poetry series at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And in January 2017, Michael, along with two other directors, started Indolent Arts Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity whose mission is to advance social justice through poetry and the arts. These are the cornerstones of the Indolent family of projects and activities.
Indolent Books is a small poetry press founded in 2015 and operating in Brooklyn, N.Y. Indolent was founded as a home for poets of a certain age who have not published a first collection. But the mission of the press is broader than that: Ultimately, Indolent publishes books the editors care about. The main criteria are that the work be innovative, provocative, risky, and relevant. Indolent is queer flavored but inclusive and maintains a commitment to diversity among authors, artists, designers, developers, and other team members. Indolent Books is an imprint of Indolent Arts Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity founded in January 2017.
Pete’s Big Salmon
Pete’s Big Salmon is the premier poetry series at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on second Friday’s of the month from September to June. The second Friday’s poetry series has been in residence at Pete’s Candy Store for the better part of two decades under a number of curators. Around 2004, co-curators Jennifer L. Knox and Ada Limón re-dubbed the series Pete’s Big Salmon (because Ada dreamt of salmons when something good was going to happen). When Indolent Books founding publisher Michael Broder took over curatorial duties in fall 2016, he resuscitated the Pete’s Big Salmon brand—complete with the original graphic designs by Jenn Knox. Now the series is an project of Indolent Arts Foundation, Inc., the 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that publishes Indolent Books.
HIV Here & Now
The HIV Here & Now Project uses poetry and other arts to advocate for a world without HIV or AIDS. The project grew out of an anthology of poems touching on HIV in the 21st century (the anthology is still in development). On June 5, 2015, we started an online poem-a-day countdown to 35 years of AIDS on June 5, 2016. With the online countdown behind us, we are editing the print anthology and keeping the site lively with blog posts by contributing editors and guest bloggers (many of whom contributed poets to the online countdown and will be represented in the print anthology). Blog posts address long-term survival, recent infection, racialization of HIV, criminalization of HIV, globalization of HIV, and living with HIV risk, among other topics. Our mission is always expanding—to new media, new audiences, new goals and objectives. Follow us, join us, live, learn, struggle, and love with us. #hivtest #hivtreat #hivprevent #nohivshame #nohivstigma
Indolent Arts Foundation
Indolent Arts is a 501(c)(3) charity supporting the work of Indolent Books, HIV Here & Now, and Pete’s Big Salmon. Over time, the Indolent Arts umbrella will extend over other projects. What all Indolent Arts projects have in common is a vision of art as a strategy for making a difference. Our mission and vision can be summed up in three words: poetry, arts, justice.