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Mellow Pages Library Receives Funding Offer From ExxonMobil, Solicits Public Opinion

By Harriet Staff

Mellow Pages

[Editor’s Note: For an update on this story, please go to this Brokelyn article which reports that the original story was in fact a hoax.]

Brooklyn’s independently run Mellow Pages Library–quickly becoming one of the primary spaces for poetry readings and small-press affairs–is suddenly in a corporate-funding fix! After raising about a quarter of necessary funds by themselves on IndieGoGo, the library and reading room was approached by none other than ExxonMobil Corp., who has offered to match each donation by 10, effectively paying the rent for three years or more. Mellow Pages founders have reached out to their members for advice. From Fanzine:

We wouldn’t make these kinds of decisions without your support, so we’re asking, essentially: what should we do? We want to stay alive and we want a quality of life for ourselves that is, well, livable. At this point we’re already asking ourselves what we’re going to do come February and after. There are all sorts of moral dilemmas with accepting this money, we know this, and some of you have already expressed some concern and confusion. So we want to ask you first, before we make any kind of decisions: What should we do? We are all the people who made this place ‘be’. And we did that together. We think we can stay the same as ever, in fact make our library better. What do you guys think?

The responses have varied from “hold poetry workshops” to “I would probably feel uncomfortable having [my] zine distributed by a place ostensibly controlled by one of the institutions the zine is theoretically and ideologically against” to “TAKE THE FUCKING MONEY” to “Let’s help them repair their karma and reward them for what they’re doing right, instead of punishing them for what they’ve done wrong.” What’s a non-nonprofit to do? Read more and join the conversation here.

You can also check out their catalog on Goodreads.

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.