Boston Writers Involved in New Writers’ Coalition

Boston University Creative Writing alumni Tara Skurtu (Poetry ’13), Rachel Dewoskin (Poetry ’00), and edb78a3f-591b-46b6-915e-04d87513029aAGNI founder Askold Melnyczuk (MA ’78) are involved in a new, international coalition of writers dedicated to protecting democratic values. As members of the steering committee of Writers for Democratic Action, they (and other members such as Peter Balakian, Carolyn Forché, Jericho Brown, and Natasha Tretheway) have committed themselves to the organization’s mission of “bringing together the literary community to demand racial and economic justice, champion suffrage for all people, oppose impediments to democratic government, and resist white supremacist, nationalist, and fascist movements,” and promise to “stand vigilant in the service of the republic to promote the common good.”

On September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of al Qaeda’s assaults on the United States, Writers for Democratic Action will present a panel of distinguished writers to discuss what the United States’ response to 9/11 has meant both for the country and for the rest of the world. Panelists will engage with questions of the effects that linger in the present moment globally, and how we might learn from the history of 9/11 and inform our actions in defense of democracy.

Novelist Paul Auster, essayist and poet Caroline Randall Williams, historian Heather Cox Richardson, and Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury will discuss these questions as part of a panel moderated by author and former NPR host and correspondent Jacki Lyden. The event will be hosted by Todd Gitlin, a writer, sociologist, and founding member of Writers for Democratic Action. Mitchell Kaplan and Books & Books have agreed to virtually host the event.

Those interested in attending the event can register for the free event here. Those seeking more information about Writers for Democratic Action can visit their website or email

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