Stelliform Press is a product of Hamilton and its environment. The city influences how we understand the relationships between the humans that live here and the plant and animal life around us, and shapes our vision of the press.
This city challenges us to think beyond binaries. Hamilton’s history as a steel city, a history rife with environmental and class issues, forces us to confront the effects of Western “progress” in our everyday lives. Now, with the loss of industry and the very real effects that this loss has had on Hamiltonians — increased poverty, addiction, and mental health issues in our population, for example — Hamilton struggles to reform itself. But the reformation too has been rocky; Hamilton refuses to become just another commuter city .
There is a risk for those of us who love this place, in seeing Hamilton’s current regenerative phase as a product of replacing Hamilton’s working class population with a professional class of doctors, lawyers, and the professors and administrators attached to McMaster University. With an influx of wealth comes the politics of Hamilton-as-project, a perspective and way of living in this city which often fails to acknowledge that Hamilton is already a community which is “enough” just as it is.
We who love this place acknowledge that Hamilton is both a space which has allowed for a thriving, organized working class and has produced a tremendous amount of pollution which has negatively affected people, plants, and animals. It is a space which now sees the effects of instability — concentrated not only in members of the displaced working class, but also in the dispossession of Indigenous people of their lands, and the continued inequalities experienced by Hamiltonians of colour and the LGBTQ2S+ community — as well as a vibrant and dedicated environmentalist community which seeks to amend the city’s ecological wrongs. As a landscape, Hamilton is a beautiful, diverse place which could and should be a “Dish with One Spoon,” providing enough for everyone; like all human-created systems, Hamilton both falls short and continues to be a site which daily invites opportunities for connection and creativity.
It is our goal that Stelliform Press emerges as a part of the creation and dissemination of stories which represent the challenges of our current intersection — at a local level, in Hamilton, where we have the daily opportunity to make choices to mitigate the old world’s ills and forge new communities; and at a global and existential level, where the ways we think about ourselves and our places in the world are shaping not only individual futures, but the futures of every living being on the planet. Let us tell stories about all the ways we relate to each other, about the ways that in those relationships we fail and the ways we succeed.
Let us tell stories of both the dreams that make work possible, and the work that needs to be done to make a liveable planet for all. Let these new stories support us and remake us as we remake our world.