Read. Write. Revolt. Build.

Pens Up Press is a publishing platform run book-printing poet and teaching artist Kristin Richardson Jordan, to assist literary activists generally, and Black and Latino activists in particular to publish and promote books for and about making a better world. For those who choose to publish using this platform this is our mission:


We believe in the power of words and the value of reading as we seek to end miseducation, to explore history, and to educate ourselves and others about the publishing world. Knowledge is power. Reading is essential. We are on a mission to promote revolutionary thought, radical humanitarianism, creative expression, and authentic human connections. We support each other by reading and promoting each other’s work.


We believe in self-determination and equality and are working to make a difference in the world of book writing by promoting authors and perspectives that aren’t often heard. We want to amplify people who’s thoughts and views are often minimized and build across different areas of struggle.


We are literary activists of all shades, people of African descent, womyn, humanitarians, and people of color seeking to change power structures in the way we publish, share revenue, and share information. We are dedicated to the liberation of Black people specifically and all oppressed people generally as our books explore ideas about power, history, gender, sexuality, culture, identity, LGBTQ oppression and liberation, resources, finances, capitalism, general politics of oppression, liberation/freedom, radical love, spirituality, and self-esteem.

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Kristin Richardson Jordan (Pens Up Press Founder)

I am an activist poet and teaching artist passionate about anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-imperialist education. I love to read and write, especially poetry, and I believe in the power of all people, and particularly Black people, to liberate ourselves. Much of my work focuses on questions of Black liberation and women’s liberation as it relates to Black women. In addition to being a published author myself, I am the founder of Pens Up Press (this site) and the founder of Uproar Poetry (an online poetry platform for activist poets). I also run writing workshops at senior centers in Harlem and have co-founded a youth writing and theatre program called Birthright with Fariso Jordan.


11206053_1539295072976764_4908456736476231315_n-1Karla M. Born in Mexico, but raised in the Bronx – I am a child of the diaspora. My exposure to the struggle of both nations has made me a very conscious person. I would like for people to be able to connect the struggles of all the people of color around the world and what better way to do that than using words. I believe that Pens Up Press has a lot to offer as a platform for readers to connect to each other. With my writing I hope to use this platform as a window into the daily struggles of the undocumented people living in the Unites States but also all the oppressed people around the globe. I believe that united the people will overcome all obstacles and prosper together.


Janet E. Williams (Pens Up Press Author)

As author of A Lighter Shade of Black, I explored my interest in fictional slave narratives and the divisions between light skinned (rich, house slave) and dark skinned blacks (poor, field slave). I am very interested in how this and other dynamics from slavery affect us today. I am also passionate about conquering the divisions between us as a people and imparting important social, cultural, and historical knowledge to the next generation.



  1. Bonnie says

    You Go My Sister!!!!!!!
    Love the website. Why not share ur knowledge & beliefs. Proud of u.
    Luv u Bunches,

  2. Yvette Heyliger says

    Very proud of Kristen starting her own press! Read. Write. Revolt. Love it!

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