This email below is posted here to elaborate on my decision. I thank Toni Bee for her help in this matter and the Marathon organizers for their understanding and quick response. If you do decide to go to the Marathon, please try and see Tichaona Chinyelu in my timeslot instead.
I have been attending and/or reading at the Boston Poetry Marathon for over a decade through its many names and locations. It was always an honor to be chosen, and I was especially happy to still be invited when the event came under new management.
Sadly, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to attend tomorrow’s event as a reader.
As a resident of Boston for over two decades, I feel a responsibility to be present tomorrow morning in the Boston Common and help to counter the so-called “free speech” demonstration. Therefore, I cannot professionally or realistically commit to being present as a performer tomorrow afternoon.
I also feel a responsibility to find a replacement for my slot while allowing other voices a chance to speak at your event. It is my hope that you will accept local established poet Tichaona Chinyelu for my 12:32 slot. My friend and colleague Toni Bee can provide you with additional information if you require it.
This is not a withdrawal of support for your event. I have given this much thought over the last few days and feel that due to recent tragic events in our country, I need to shift my support to tomorrow’s efforts alongside my fellow Bostonians and other activist friends. I wish you the very best as you keep the Marathon going in 2017 and hopefully for many years to come.
Thank you for your time and understanding.
Host/Organizer, Stone Soup Poetry