Happy Birthday, Brick House!

in The Brick House Cooperative
on December 8, 2021

One year ago, the Brick House Cooperative began publishing on a website built with the proceeds of a successful Kickstarter. We are beyond proud of the Brick House’s many achievements over the course of our inaugural year, despite the many challenges of the pandemic. And 2022 is shaping up to be a beautiful one, with many brilliant new developments we’ll be ready to share with you soon.

If the nine Brick House members have one thing in common, it’s that we publish on a human scale, free of bombast or hype; we bring you art, stories and journalism about life and the world that we think you’ll find lastingly interesting, funny, moving and/or important. The ad-free stories at The Brick House, in all their wealth, range and variety, are quieter and more thoughtful than what you might be used to seeing in commercial media. We will continue to bring you quality, meaning and beauty, and not just noise. 

So if you love the Brick House like we do, please consider an end-of-year donation or subscription. Subscriptions are $75 annually, or you can donate cash or crypto.

Also, you can sign up here to make sure to get our glorious first anthology, the Brick House Apparent Quarterly, Vol. I. This book represents our publishing ethos in more ways than one; a few weeks ago we sold a permanent digital copy of the book to the Internet Archive’s Open Library, to demonstrate how ethical publishers should sell (and not license) books to libraries—for keeps, and for the same price as paper books. We are making the case for permanent digital archiving and ownership of digital materials, and that will remain a key part of our work in future.

So thank you, Brick House readers, supporters, and everyone who believes in this cooperative project to protect press freedom. This laboratory for new ideas in publishing. This home for poets and artists, writers, gadflies, and visionaries. 

Here’s some of our favorite work from this first year, showing how journalists—joined together and unencumbered by the need to obey corporations, advertisers, platforms or investors—can show you the world in a compelling new way. 

Charlie Rangel took a ramble with FAQ NYC. 

Sludge exposed fossil fuel funded corruption in government all over the place, including the egregious “Bipartisan Policy Center.” 

Rosa Lyster considered the work of the late John Le Carré in a timeless newsletter essay.

Myriam Gurba recounted her escape from domestic violence at Tasteful Rude. 

Kafka appeared in comics form, Dean was painted to kingdom come, and Roz Chast shared Death Cartoons at AWRY.

Are Humans Wildlife? asked Simone Haysom at Popula. Weather Reviews from Hmm Weekly provided a meditative oasis each week in a fraught and scary year. One of us lost her mom.

The KMT, observed No Man Is an Island, does not know how to wear pants.

Yemisi Aribisala painted in words the drawing her father once effortlessly drew, of a boy in a gèlè at OlongoAfrica.

At Preachy we learned how to become a confused-ass Muslim and considered the metal plaques hurtling through space, alleging evidence of human civilization. 

There was so much more! We’re just getting started.

We listened to twenty-one eulogies for New York City, from Lucy Sante, Annie Nocenti and 19 others. Read the poems of Romeo Oriogun, Toni Morrison’s spiritual vision, a pan of “Barb & Star,” and MR. WRONG’s views on Office Birthdays. Tom Scocca brought us news of the cicadas

Laurence Jones gave a searing indictment of careerism in non-profits.

Who killed Eric Garner? asked FAQ NYC. 

Brian Hioe celebrated a god’s birthday with a temple rave, and considered the ridiculous and awful implications of the container ship Ever Given, which got stuck in the Suez Canal for a week last spring. We took a fictional look into the mind of a heartless man.

Zhongxia Wang, a Chinese dissident, told the story of his imprisonment and flight in a powerful short film, “Two Prisons.” We developed a craving for bambara nuts

Thank you, everyone!

Heartfelt thanks again to all who made this work happen, and best wishes from everyone at the Brick House for a healthy, safe New Year.

And again, if you can, please contribute to our work! and don’t forget to sign up for notice of the beautiful new and historic book, the forthcoming Brick House Apparent Quarterly Vol. I.