Urgency Reader 2: Mutual Aid Publishing During Crisis began with a 10-day open call that was announced on March 18, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The call for work was motivated by two desires:
1—to collectively document some of the extraordinary conditions, dynamics, and emotions being experienced while in quarantine, and 2—to provide some relief to artists and writers impacted by the crisis, in both creative and monetary forms. How might publishing as artistic practice embody communal care?
More than 100 artists and writers submitted work, mostly generated during quarantine. Contributors were compensated a total of $2,295, using funds from a 2020 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts grant, plus an anonymous donation. 65 of the 110 contributors donated their share of the compensation back to the pool, resulting in 45 contributors each receiving a stipend of $51.
An edition of 25 copies of Urgency Reader 2 was printed and assembled at Queer.Archive.Work during the first week of April 2020. A high-quality scan of the printed edition is available for free download (see below). Physical copies of the reader have been permanently placed in our library for future visitors, once it’s safe to re-open to the public. Additionally, 15 printed copies are immediately available for purchase ($100 including shipping, tax-deductible); email Paul to inquire. All proceeds will be used to fund Riso Residencies artists’ stipends at Queer.Archive.Work.