Yesterday writers across the country and around the world united for the #WritersResist movement, reading and speaking out at events in more than 90 cities, including NY, Philadelphia, Portland, and Boston. Part of a larger movement called #WriteOurDemocracy created by PEN America, the event focused on using the power of the pen in defense of our democracy, threatened by the forces of cynicism, classism, oligarchy, and propaganda.
The flagship event was held on the steps of the New York Public Library featuring a powerful set of poets, novelists, and other authors including Angela Flournoy reading Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of the Morning”, Jeff Gordinier reading Philip Levine’s “The Simple Truth”, Roseanne Cash reading the lyrics to Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy”, and a poem each from Poet Laureates Robert Pinsky and Rita Dove, among many others.
Writers Resist had two events here in Boston. One was held at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, organized in part by Daniel Evans Pritchard of The Critical Flame. Featured among their readers were Krysten Hill, Robert Arnold, and Councillor Ayanna Pressley also reading from Angelou’s poem written for Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration.
Zachary Bos of Pen and Anvil Press and Margaret Zamos-Monteith were the lead organizers for the Writers Resist even held at the Boston Sculptors Gallery in the South End. The reading was titled ‘Where Things Begin to Happen’ and included potent readings from Prof. Laura Grattan, author of ‘Populism’s Power’, short fiction writer Julie Lekstrom Hines, and Oddball Magazine‘s Jason Wright.
We’ll be doing our part here at #JPLMagazine to continue this spirit by sharing some of the great works that were read this week as we lead up to Inauguration Day.
There is no tool more powerful in a democracy than our voice. No gun or tank or shackle or screaming demagogue can truly silence Truth in a democracy when met by a free press. Follow the writers linked above and stay involved with a movement that will become only more important over the next four years.