Launch of HUBB Project: U.S. Writers, PEN America, and U.S. Bookstores Support Ukrainian Association of Booksellers and Publishers

Dr. Jessica Zychowicz's picture

Link directly to HUBB here:

Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books bookstore chain in Miami, has launched HUBB: Helping Ukrainian Books and Booksellers— to support the literary community in the war torn nation. Kaplan has also recruited several literary friends to assist in the effort, including translator and novelist Askold Melnyczuk from the University of Massachusetts, Boston; novelist Jane Unrue of Harvard’s Scholars and Artists at Risk Program; poet and memoirist Christopher Merrill, director of the University of Iowa International Writing Program; and poet and memoirist Carolyn Forche. The fundraiser aims to assist some of the 3,000 industry professionals—publishers, booksellers, authors, printers, distributors—who saw sales plummet, their business disrupted and employees forced to flee after the Russian invasion.

Melnyczuk explained the origins of the project. "Last April I invited my friend, the poet Marjana Savka, publisher of Old Lion Books in Lviv, to join me on Mitchell’s podcast," he said. "Marjana also runs a string of eight bookstores around the country. After Marjana’s appearance on the podcast, we were contacted by Oleksandr Afonin, president of the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association, who was able to describe the situation of those who work in various aspects of Ukrainian book culture."

HUBB is working with the Coral Gables Foundation in Florida to transfer the first grant of $10,000 to the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association. "Our priorities are first to offer aid to individuals in the book industry who find themselves in financial need—because all available funds are being diverted to support the war effort, the state is able to provide only nominal unemployment subsidies, sometimes as low as $65/month—targeted support to bookstores and publishing enterprises damaged during the war; and to help restock the shelves of libraries damaged and destroyed during the war," Melnyczuk said.   

Full Press Release about HUBB is here:

Feature Article in The Guardian: "Our Mission is Crucial: Meet the Warrior Librarians of Ukraine"