As I talk to more people about the dear Gerald project, I find that I’m frequently being asked similar questions. So here are my responses to some of those FAQs.
IS THIS PROJECT ONLY FOR WOMEN? No. This project is open to everyone: all genders, sexes, ethnicities, nationalities, ages, . . .
HOW ABSENT OR ESTRANGED DOES YOUR FATHER NEED TO BE? It is not about measuring your degree of absent–that is not important. What is important is that you have felt your father’s absent and that absence has had a significant impact on you.
WHO WILL READ MY LETTER? I will be the only one reading your letter. And if the letter is selected as inspiration for my second collection of work, then others will read it when published–but most likely not in its entirety. I may choose only to take an excerpt from your letter or select several words. If you are uncomfortable having your letter appear in publication, in any form or manner, then please state that when sending it to me. You will still receive a copy of the dear Gerald poetry collection in exchange.
CAN THE LETTER BE ADDRESSED TO A GRANDFATHER OR GREAT GRANDFATHER? Yes. I have expanded the project to include all fathers, including great and grandfathers. Additionally, letters can be addressed to patriarchal authority figures like God, the president, uncles, brothers, etc. You may even write a letter where the addressee is left blank: Dear_________.
WHAT KIND OF LETTER ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? All kinds of letters are welcome–the more innovative and artistic, the better. For instance, one person has created a short documentary as a “letter.” It would be great to receive more visual-letter responses, or possibly musical compositions. Since the letters will inspire a second collection of work, it would be great to have a variety of base materials to work from.
CAN INTERNATIONAL FOLKS PARTICIPATE? Yes. I have received a letter from the Philippines and having international voices be a part of this project is ideal.
If I haven’t answered your question here, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!