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An open letter to Barry Maxwell:
You’re a rock star, and it’s because you are the type of person that gets a person like me to realize she’s a person with a voice worth hearing. I hope to become that person one day.
With your project, you’ve brought together some really bright and beautiful souls. I see some amazing talent each week, and it’s inspiring. I’m so honored to be a part of this group. Somehow, you keep us all in the spotlight together.
And you are a true friend. That’s something hard to find these days. You always bring that elusive “extra cigarette.” You always lend an ear, even when it has nothing to do with writing. You, my friend, are proof that decent people exist and can go through crappy situations without losing that decency. Thank you.
I survived my experience with homelessness in part because of Street Lit, and in part because of your friendship. The writers brought together in Conference Room A each week have formed a family. I believe we are a family that will change the history of writing in Austin; maybe the world.
So, thank you for changing the world, Barry. Life in Austin is a bit brighter because you had a dream. And because you worked passionately to achieve it.
The beauty of Street Lit is that it is. Imagine that. You show me that I can make a dream reality if I want. Nobody is stopping me.
It’s that moment when you realize you’re part of something extraordinary. You created that something, and deserve some praise. Thanks for letting us all share in your dream.
Jennifer Michelle Jones, a Street Lit badass and proprietor of The Hostile Takeover blog, has offered up this touching letter. Though she addresses it to me, I believe it could be as properly addressed to all the Street Lit authors, to all those who’ve helped us along, and as encouragement to anyone with a desire to write (or make any kind of art). Above all, Jennifer’s words confirm the value of community in our lives. Thank you, Jenny, for this, and for your presence in the group and out in the world.