on Sunday January 15th somos will take part in writers resist– an international event to celebrate Freedom of Speech.
January 15th is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This year, 2017, all across the country writers everywhere will come together and share original works and readings from the constitution. These gatherings are to unite the population in the defense of freedom of expression and the rejection of hateful and discriminatory rhetoric. This mammoth collaboration is called Writers Resist. The flagship event will be held in NYC on the steps of the public library with many notable authors. London, Hong Kong and masses of other cities across the U.S. have coordinated their own events on the same day- including Taos!
Taos as a community of individuals is never one to miss a chance to voice our opinions and champion our right to do so. Jan Smith SOMOS’ Executive Director is coordinating the event for our town. Jan heard about Writers Resist from a writer friend in Santa Fe. She jumped on the chance to get an event going in Taos. When I asked her why she thought it was so important to take part in this national event, she said, “In a time when some of our first amendment rights are being challenged, if not threatened, it’s important for writers and indeed all of the public, to use their voice to defend the democratic principles our country was founded on and worked so hard and so long to protect and expand.” -Right on, Jan!
Writers participating in the event are encouraged to to read either their own work or something which highlights the importance of free speech, free press and the ideals of democracy. As this is a celebration of what the sound of many voices can accomplish, presenters are discouraged from using specific names of politicians and to steer clear of negative language. Focusing on the positive aspect of what we can all accomplish together is just one of many benefits of this worldwide event.
Local writers adding their voices to the Taos community’s Writers Resist event are: Robert Silver, Jean Admire, Kate O’Neill, Sawnie Morris, Ariana Kramer, Linda Michel-Cassidy, David Farmer, Steve Fox, Gaia Mika, Rose Gordon, Mimi Chen Ting, Jean Stevens, Phyllis Hotch and many others. The finale will also be a staged reading of Judith Rane’s original one-act play, Axel & Abel. The script is based on the book, The Cellist of Sarajevo. Readings, with the exception of the Judith’s one-act, are limited to three minutes.
In addition to the inspiring readings, Jan will be providing copies of the Constitution for attendees of the event as well as a tool kit provided by Pen America on how to defend democracy.
Writer’s Resist is coordinated across the nation by PEN America. Founded in 1922 and based in New York City, Pen America’s mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
writer’s resist #loudertogether will take place in taos- january 15th, 2007 at the somos salon on 108-b civic plaza drive 4-6 p.m.