June 2nd is Gun Violence Awareness Day, Wesleyan University Press Stands Against Gun Violence

National Gun Violence Awareness Day

On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, we stand with fellow university presses, booksellers, and other literary groups, to participate in the Wear Orange Campaign.

The Wear Orange Campaign commemorates and honors the lives of those lost to gun violence. Wear Orange was founded on June 2, 2015, after the tragic death of Hadiya Pendleton. Since then, orange has represented the fight against gun violence. The campaign invites all those who want to stand for an end to gun violence to unite and wear orange, June 2–4. You can also look for events and rallies in your local communities.

UT Press and Gianna LaMorte, their Assistant Director and Marketing & Sales Manager, participated in the Wear Orange Campaign last year. They reached out after the Covenant School shooting in Nashville (March 27, 2023) with their condolences and the idea that AUPresses (Association of University Presses) could gather the literary world to stand against gun violence and its terrible effects on our communities.  This year, Wesleyan University Press along with fellow university presses and literary organizations will be raising awareness by wearing and representing the color orange.

We chose to honor this campaign by presenting a poem written by poet Evie Shockley which powerfully depicts US gun violence. We hope this encourages others to unite in this goal to create a safer world.

About Evie Shockley

Poet & literary scholar Evie Shockley thinks, creates, and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon. Her books of poetry include suddenly wesemiautomatic, and the new black.  Her work has twice garnered the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has appeared internationally.  Her honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and the Stephen Henderson Award, and her joys include participating in poetry communities such as Cave Canem and collaborating with like-minded artists working in various media.  Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.

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