Writers reclaim democracy

Leader Staff | arts@ptleader.com
Posted 1/10/17

Port Townsend writers are joining a nationwide movement to “re-inaugurate” democracy, Sunday, Jan. 15.

“Writers Resist” events are taking place cross the country. A flagship event, …

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Writers reclaim democracy

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Port Townsend writers are joining a nationwide movement to “re-inaugurate” democracy, Sunday, Jan. 15.

“Writers Resist” events are taking place cross the country. A flagship event, cosponsored by PEN America, features prominent literary figures braving the weather on the steps of the public library in New York City to read historic and contemporary writings on the ideals of democracy and free expression.

Locally, an event organized by Matthew Nienow and Anna Quinn is set to take place at 5:30 p.m. at Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Books in downtown Port Townsend, 820 Water St.

“This is something that writers have done throughout history,” Nienow said. Many of his favorite writers, such as Pablo Neruda and Gabriel García Márquez, were politically active.

“People want to be able to express themselves and not be afraid of censorship or punishment for thinking or saying things,” Nienow said, noting how important it is to continue exercising our First Amendment right, and resist anything that may attempt to “overturn the rights that we have and hold dear.”

The local event, which is free and open to the public, features readings by Rikki Ducornet, Gary Lilley, Susan Brittain and Brigid Yuknavitch, with music by Simon de Voil.

The “Writers Resist” movement was founded by poet Erin Belieu, who grew increasingly concerned during the 2016 presidential campaign over public cynicism and how disdain for truthfulness seems to have eroded democratic ideals.

“Writers are acutely aware when the uses of language are empty,” Belieu said in a statement.

“Whether you live in a red or blue state, or another country that cares deeply about the American experiment, there is no more important battle than our right to truth.”

Visit writersresist.org for more information.

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