A Renaissance of Public Conversation: Writers in Support of Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy Movement has just received the support of almost 200 great novelists, non-fiction writers, journalists, poets, editors, and playwrights. Occupy Writers was published this morning and includes the signatures of Jonathan Lethem, Lemony Snicket, Mary Karr, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Ehrenreich, Sasha Frere-Jones, Honor Moore, Luc Sante, Ann Patchett, Sam Lipsyte, Young Jean Lee, Lewis Hyde and many other established writers and editors.

The original letter, which was circulated throughout the literary community this week, was as follows:

As writers our work depends on imagination; for the Occupy Movement, such imagination has become a genuine starting place, at the convergence of telling stories and making change happen. Not just any change. Real democracy. Economic justice. Freedom of speech that includes the freedom of assembly, the freedom to gather and together exercise our imaginations of what democracy and justice can mean. We want a world worthy of the best we think stories have to offer — and what would that world look like but one in which discussion is both nonviolent and vivid, spectacular, and engaging in the way that the protesters of the Occupy Movement are reminding us it can be? We see in the Occupy Movement the beginnings of a renaissance of public conversation, and we, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support the Occupy Movement in its pursuit.

The idea for creating the list of supporters was the brainstorm of writers Jeff Sharlet and Kiera Feldman. The project is being realized with the help of many volunteers, which include students, writers, and artists. If you’re a writer and support Occupy Wall Street, you can add your name and the title of one book to the Occupy Writers website.

You can view the entire list of writers here. Please consider spreading the word about the list by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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By | 2016-11-11T21:55:22+00:00 10.14.11|Events, Words|1 Comment

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.

One Comment

  1. Michelle Aldredge October 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    An update. The New York Observer has just published an article about the Occupy Writers’ list and the story has gone out through the AP. You can read the Observer‘s article here.

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