Last Day, First Day: a call for letters to Presidents
Last Day, First Day is a creative writing project that collects pairs of letters written to a President leaving and another arriving. Submissions will be collected until January 20, Inauguration Day, at which point they’ll be compiled into a book.
In response to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, Last Day, First Day celebrates writing as an intimate medium for direct communication. Whether used as a political act or a means for internal reflection, letter-writing allows us to rebel, to digest, to lament, to move forward.
Last Day, First Day defines what a letter can be in the loosest, most energetic terms possible. A letter can be a finely drafted, three- paragraph address, or a run-on sentence, an image, a recipe, a doodle, a list, a poem, a collage and so on. Participants are encouraged to “write” in whatever format, style, shape or size that feels best for them.
This project-now in its second iteration-is organized by Los Angeles-based artist and writer, Erik Benjamins. Created in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election, the first edition of Last Day, First Day, featured an inspiring and diverse collection of letters from over 100 writers around the world. The 2016 book is available for purchase, or viewable as a PDF, on the project website. Submissions for the 2020 edition will be uploaded to the site when received.
Download the project press release here.
Write a letter to President Trump, dated for his last day in office (January 19).
Write a letter to President-elect Biden, dated for his first day (January 20).
Submit letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org*
If inclined, send your letters to each President. *If you prefer to create physical letter, reach out via email for mailing info.
Letters are welcome from any person with any worldview, anywhere in the world.
Submissions can be anonymous.
Participants must write both letters to be accepted.
Each letter should fit on one, 8.5 × 11 inch page.
Send to email@example.com
Submissions must arrive by January 20, 2021