Writers Standing Together
During 2017 MLK weekend, Writers Resist along with PEN America came together in New York to stand up against hatred, to uphold truth, and to defend free expression. This moment captured the attention of all writers and creators out there who fear any limitations for future of free expression.
“As the rally comes to a close, participants and audience members will deliver PEN America’s pledge to defend the First Amendment—signed by more than 150,000 individuals, including all past U.S. Poets Laureate—to the transition team of President-elect Donald J. Trump, who will take office just five days later on January 20.” — PEN America
Writers Resist’s goal is to “reclaim democracy” by focusing public attention on the ideals of a free, just and compassionate society. Critically-acclaimed authors Cheryl Strayed, Michael Cunningham, Jacqueline Woodson, Luis Alberto Urrea, Jason Reynolds, Alexander Chee, and Mary Karr, along with former U.S. Poets Laureate Robert Pinsky and Rita Dove, and journalists Moustafa Bayoumi and Amy Goodman were just a few names that supported this initiative.
The #WriteOurDemocracy hashtag is a writers movement by Writers Resist that is aimed at defending the ideals of a free, just and compassionate democratic society. They, and PEN America, understand that democracy and the freedom of expression is at risk; truthfulness and the weight that it carries doesn’t appear to be enough anymore. And that’s a problem.
“As writers we have tremendous power to bypass empty political discourse and focus public attention on the ideals of a free, just, and compassionate society.” — Writers Resist: #WriteOurDemocracy
What Writers Resist Asks Us to Do As Readers
“We invite you to seek out the work of authors who are actively engaged in supporting equality, compassion, and the ideals of democracy and social justice. We ask you to support their work, and to share it on social media with #ReadersResist.
Here are some other ways you as a reader might work with us on Writers Resist’s mission:
• Consider engaging your book club with authors participating in the Writers Resist effort. Invite members of our community to speak with your group.
• Start a new book club to explore the democratic values espoused by the Writers Resist organization.
• Let your local bookstores know about your favorite authors who are participating in Writers Resist events. Ask them to invite these writers for a local reading.
• Start a reading series for a local school. Because our mission bypasses direct political discourse or campaigning, this is a chance to engage young people in thinking about the democratic and civic ideals Writers Resist supports.”
Standing Up For What’s Right
Lit Journals and Magazines, like TBL Journal, are standing together to show what good the power of words can do. I strongly believe that publishing is a political act. And seeing that more journals, writers, and artists are banding together to share this political moment is inspirational, to say the least. I know that creating art, fiction, illustrations — anything from our worldview — will lead a positive example toward reframing negative perspectives of difference. This Journal must stand up and amplify voices unheard of and/or undervalued — that’s what it serves to do.
All images and quoted content from respected websites: PEN American and Writers Resist: #WriteOurDemocracy. © 2017 Black Lion Journal. Want to see your work here? Visit the Submissions page to learn more about submitting to the Journal’s sections or to The Wire’s Dream.