From the Seattle City of Literature website, which is currently a single page:
We are sorry to report sad news today: the leadership of nonprofit organization Seattle City of Literature is regrouping and considering what the future might look like for us. Unfortunately, there were unresolved differences of opinion regarding leadership and how the organization should be represented in public discourse….
According to the Seattle Times, Boudinot “could not be reached for comment” after Seattle City of Literature’s Managing Director sent out an email to followers saying the organization is “shuttering.”
Boudinot’s response to all this? In a letter to Seattle city officials yesterday, Boudinot cited his “good conscience” for being unable to apologize for his betrayal of former students and his mocking of child-abuse victims. He then went on to explain that he is the real victim in all of this, comparing himself to journalists gunned down at Charlie Hebdo, and political enemies in Kampala and Baghdad.
Here are Boudinot’s own appalling words:
The Seattle City of Literature board of directors received a number of requests that they take action against me. They requested that I step down and issue a public apology. I considered this request and decided that I could not in good conscience comply with their request….
What weighed most heavily on me were the other writers around the world who are challenged for their expression. I thought about the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the conversations I had in Chengdu with delegates from Kampala and Baghdad….
When I informed Rebecca and the board of my decision, they resigned.
Yes, they did. Likely with their mouths hanging open in mute amazement, just like ours.
It’s all the fault of Boudinot’s board members, of course. The Net-wide and international critiques of Boudinot’s remarks, the calls for apologies, the fact that entire board under Boudinot just resigned — well, according to Stranger editor and fellow privileged-white-male arsehole Christopher Frizzelle, writing with his typical sexist dismissal, it’s all just “handwringing and pearl-clutching.”
And to the Board of Seattle City of Lit, whom Frizelle championed only days ago — well, they only get his respect if they give his brah respect. Says Frizelle:
Good riddance. Here’s hoping Boudinot assembles a new board full of people who appreciate that he started a conversation about literary standards that rippled around the globe. Literary culture is at risk of sliding into irrelevance… His six board members should have thanked him for what he did, and then they should have gone off and fundraised around his efforts and his visibility. Instead they scolded him and quit.
Yes, he said that. The board should have thanked Boudinot for the increased “visibility” around such comments such as
Just because you were abused as a child does not make your inability to stick with the same verb tense for more than two sentences any more bearable. In fact, having to slog through 500 pages of your error-riddled student memoir makes me wish you had suffered more.
Because that’s the sort of visibility you want when you’re applying to UNESCO Creative Cities, with a review board from PEN International.
If the comments are any indication, Stranger readers appear equally unconvinced: