Octopus' Garden

Friday, September 09, 2005


I've been rendered speechless over here at Artcihoke Heart Headquarters in the wake of the hurricane. I just haven't felt as if there's anything I could possibly say. As if pelting words in that direction would be like trying to throw goosedown into the wind or something. I've been so sad. And when I'm sad, I usually get quiet.

What I wish I could somehow find a way to say better: I'm shocked and horrified at how much human suffering has taken place, and will continue to take place, and I'm saddened by the destruction of a complex, historical, and vibrant city. I'm outraged by every possible aspect of what feels to me like a criminally negligent response on the part of the current administration. I'm sickened and frustrated (if, admittedly, not altogether surprised) by the ugly underbelly of racism that keeps surfacing over and over again. I can't help but think of James Baldwin, during the Civil Rights era, saying that America, in order to deal with its own racism, had to be prepared to face the "corpse in the closet, the dead body floating in the unconscious of the nation." Those words seem all too prescient to me at this moment.

Hurricane Katrina--How Writers Can Help

Dear Friends,

In addition to the important work being done by the American Red Cross and other relief agencies, there are a number of special efforts we thought writers might be particularly interested in:

The Katrina Literary Collective has been created to collect and distribute books to victims of the hurricane. For more information, contact the Amber Communications Group.

A Louisiana Disaster Relief Fund has been established to receive monetary donations to assist libraries in Southeastern Louisiana. For more info, visit the American Library Association.

The American Booksellers Association has created a Bookseller Relief Fund to assist independent booksellers affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The Southern Arts Federation has set up an Emergency Relief Fund to assist arts organizations and artists in those Gulf Communities most devastated by Katrina.

Thank you for whatever help you're able to provide.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 11:59 AM


Hi Artichoke Heart,

Thanks for that quote from Baldwin, and for the list of resources, most of which I was unaware of. The only thing that has given me a bit of comfort is the thought that maybe the horror of what has happened, and the way it has exposed certain realities, may shift this country in a better direction in the future. I truly hope so.
Blogger Camicao, at 4:20 PM  

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