The Corresponding Society

The Corresponding Society is a small press organized by a very diverse community of young creative writers. The group was established in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York by poets Christopher Sweeney, Robert Snyderman, and David Swensen; historian and translator Greg Afinogenov; multidisciplinary writer Lonely Christopher; and fiction writer Adrian Shirk. The strategy was to build a network of corresponding subjects to encourage creative instigation and support the distribution of new creative and academic work. In 2008, the Society published the first issue of its biannual literary journal Correspondence and began to promote it, as well as further build the press’ constituency, by participating in a variety of readings and events. Correspondence is now heading towards its fourth issue. Every journal launch has been held at Manhattan’s prestigious KGB Bar; the Society has also organized readings at many venues in New York City, the Pacific Northwest, and the Bay Area of California, as well as schools such as Bennington, Pratt Institute, University of Michigan, and Harvard. The Society has also been represented at such events as the AWP Conference, the Annual Chapbook Festival at the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Brooklyn Book Fair. The Corresponding Society is a unique press, in that it strives to foster a discursive environment, a community, for its contributors, thus placing far more emphasis on communication and facilitating creative development than is common for larger independent publishing ventures. Consequently, the activities of the Society have expanded beyond publishing a journal and chapbook series to include street poetry, reading series, theater, education, and even farming.