Plea to Margaret Atwood

 

Dear Ms. Atwood,

 

My name is Sean Condon, I am the executive director of Megaphone, a magazine sold on the streets of Vancouver by homeless and low-income vendors. On top of creating an employment opportunity for marginalized people, Megaphone runs eight writing workshops in the Downtown Eastside for marginalized writers. Many of the poems and stories from these workshops are published in the magazine.

 

I understand that you do not supply blurbs for books, but I'm wondering if we could humbly ask for a supporting quote for our writing workshop program. It would be a big boost for our marginalized writers who participate in the program and for our fundraising campaign. This spring Megaphone needs to raise $5,000 to keep the program running. 

 

The program has been a huge success. We have seen some amazing transformations with our writers. Just the process of putting their story to paper is incredibly important as it allows them to release their pain. But once their story in published in the magazine they are often overcome with emotion—either jumping up in joy, or breaking down in tears. Such is the power of having one's voice heard. It validates their pain and struggle. And it is done with such beauty and insight.

 

It also helps educate the rest of the city about what it's like to be homeless, to battle an addiction, or to live with a mental illness. 

 

To help convince you, I have written this poem in response to your 'I blurb only for the dead, these days' poem.

 

Blurb for the dead

For the voices that die inside of heads

For the souls that long to be fed

 

Blurb for the forgotten

For the downtrodden

Who are always told their voices are rotten

 

Blurb for the dead 

So that they may once again rise

Blurb for the dead

And help their voices come alive 

 

You would be joining such authors as Joy Kogawa in lending your support for the program. 

 

Thank you 

Get on your megaphone

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