I Will Not Be Silent. American Writers in Support of Ukraine
Writers from all over the world are in solidarity with Ukraine. Their voice is another humanitarian "heavy artillery" during this war. Thanks to PEN Ukraine's initiative, we are collecting messages of support from writers from different countries. Let the words inspire, heal, and keep defense. Together, we will win.
Judith Baumel, author of 4 books of poems, most recently, Thorny. Member of the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale:
"Brave Ukrainians, we stand with you in this terrible time of brutal and senseless war. Evil and hate may destroy bodies but not souls or culture or freedom. Together, our words and our prayers are powerful weapons that will work for peace."
Richard Robbins, Emeritus Professor of English and Creative Writing, Minnesota State University, Mankato. Member, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church. Author, Body Turn to Rain: New and Selected Poems:
"I am writing to let you know millions of your fellow writers and other peace-loving people support you and the citizens of Ukraine in your current distress. We are praying for you, and we are bringing every influence to bear on our leaders to work with other leaders to help stop this madness."
Martha Cooley, author of 4 books, most recently Buy Me Love:
"The whole world is witnessing your profound courage, dignity, and commitment to your nation’s and your own individual integrity. Witnessing is a form of prayer, and as the world witnesses your response to the horrors of invasion, the world prays collectively for peace. Along with countless other people around the globe, I am holding you in my heart. May the heat of our hearts help sustain you."
Sharon Bryan, Author of four books of poems: Sharp Stars, Flying Blind, Objects of Affection, and Salt Air:
"Your poetry, your art, your spirit and bravery, your heart - they all feed our souls. More than 850 people gathered in PEN America vigil in support of Ukraine on Fabruary 28 in New York to listen to Ukrainian poetry, to weep with you, and to shake our fists, however futilely, against the violence. You are an inspiration to the world."
Anne Gibert, Painter:
"The people of Ukraine are fighting for their lives and their freedom against a cruel force led by a crazed and vicious man. I believe and hope that their resistance is teaching the world how to join together to starve the beast until it stops its criminal aggression. There is a change for good coming from this lesson. I live on a little island, Lummi Island, Washington where everyone is praying for Ukraine and her people."
John Domini, Author of a half dozen books, latest book is The Archeology of a Good Ragù:
"I send wishes for peace, safety and continued independence."
Catherine Parnell, Birch Bark Editing:
"We are thinking and praying for you and all the citizens of Ukraine. Hoping that this horrible situation will end and that everyone can return home and be united with their families. I am a research scientist at New Jersey Medical School, part of Rutgers University and everyone I know is thinking of them. With the assistance of Judy Baumel, and as an editor at MicroLit Almanac, I've been able to publish two essays that have reached more than 300 people each and the number goes up daily: "Distant Loss" by Olena Jennings and "Letter from Ukraine" by Marjana Savka, translated by Anastasiya Lyubas. I stand with Ukraine and pledge to continue publishing more. I will not be silent."
Garrett Hongo, poet and author of The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo:
TO A SOLDIER IN UKRAINE
A soldier must know three things —
Words from the past, joy in their remembrance,
And the sound of their own voice saying them.
A soldier must love three things —
The land they spring from as a tree does its earth,
The woman who cries over their cradle, over their death,
And the whirling mystery they join at the edge of life.
A soldier must say three things —
Declare what they love, whom they come from,
And where the wind will take their words.
Love is written on their body,
Wind will take their ashes,
Words will remember they lived.
Initiated by Mariya Tytarenko.
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