A Letter to Margaret Atwood

Dear Margaret Atwood,

My love for you runs deep.

Alias Grace. The Handmaid’s Tale. Morning in the Burned House.

I didn’t think I could love you anymore; however, today, I found out I was wrong. You decided not to attend to the Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature in Dubai because of the banning of The Gulf Between Us, which was banned because of a storyline involving a gay character. Not only did you decide not to attend, but you shared your reasons via your website. Ms. Atwood, I love it.

On a personal note, not that you have time for me to make it personal—but if this is your assistant reading keep reading there is time. I must say, very simply, censorship sucks! I, myself, have been the victim of censorship. Last year I was recorded reading my poem “Missing Names.” While the word whore was broadcast freely, the recording station bleeped out cocksucker. Ms. Atwood (or Ms. Atwood’s assistant), it hurt me as well as the poetic sting that is delivered with the line containing cocksucker. I feel I must add that the use of cocksucker is not even vulgar. Cocksucker is part of the name of a shot referenced in the poem, a Cowboy Cocksucker to be exact.

I digress.

Margaret Atwood, I love you. Thank you for saying in your utmost professional and brilliant way that censorship sucks and by proxy sending a message of acceptance/tolerance/etc. toward the LGBT community.

Your fan,
Dustin Brookshire

The Festival still has your picture on their website. If you have to open a can of Atwood-Whoop-Ass, please let me know as I’d like to bear witness.

Atwood now hoping to attend Dubai festival ‘virtually’ as part of censorship panel

Dubai Festival Update: The Gulf Between Us, from English PEN

2 responses to “A Letter to Margaret Atwood

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