I received two emails recently from writers you likely know and admire.
Like clockwork, I can expect an email from Annie Dillard a week after each new issue is published. Her response to issue #92 arrived right on schedule: “This is the best Image ever published. These writers stun me.”
Then, the day after the brilliant essayist and cultural critic Richard Rodriguez returned home from delivering Image’s Denise Levertov Award in typically mesmerizing fashion, he sent a thank-you note in which he wrote: “I would do anything for Image and its mission. (I didn’t need the award to take me up to Seattle.) The bravery of the journal, especially in these times of cultural, not to say religious, illiteracy, astonishes me.”
He continued: “The audience on Thursday night was your latest gift of encouragement—an audience so rare in my life these days—such passionate listening, such quiet attention, such generous souls. So, I thank you for them—the audience—the sort of people Image alone seems able to assemble in a dark time.”
I’m quoting Dillard and Rodriguez not simply to bask in their praise, but to point out that they are speaking about you as well as the Image team. You wouldn’t be receiving this mid-year appeal letter if you were not part of the conversation these two writers are celebrating.
Now we are asking for you to continue supporting this work—this deep conversation—with an old-fashioned currency: your hard-earned financial resources. Because it cannot take place without you.
Here’s a quick rundown on what is making this a banner year for Image:
- Issue #92 featured a previously untranslated short story by the Japanese writer Shusaku Endo, whose novel Silence was recently made into a film by Martin Scorsese; it also included a powerful essay on a meeting of North American and African visual artists in the ongoing process of seeking peace and reconciliation.
- Issue #93, guest edited by screenwriter/director Scott Teems (Rectify) and film critic Gareth Higgins, is entirely devoted to film, featuring insightful reflections from directors Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe), James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Rodrigo Garcia (Last Days in the Desert), Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange), actor Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Veep), critic Alissa Wilkinson (Vox.com), and many, many more. It will mail in July.
Our mid-year appeal is an essential part of our annual budget. We need to raise $25,000 this summer to maintain our operations.
Will you share not only the precious currency of your attention but of your financial treasure? In either case, what you are giving is yourself, the greatest gift of all. And in return for that miraculous gift we will continue to make Image flourish and nurture the hearts and minds of the community that cares for art, faith, and mystery.
Bless you for being such a vital part of that community.