Wednesday, February 23, 2022

My Resignation from Honorary President of the International Union of Writers


Most of those reading this are not aware of my position as the Honorary President of the International Union of Writers, a writers' organization headquartered in Moscow. However, it meant a great deal to me. I have good friends in Russia and I believe in reportage and literature, particularly science fiction, and specifically Russian science fiction, as a force for good. 

That said, we live in the world we live in. So, yesterday, I sent the following letter to the chairman of the IUW.



Alexander Nikolaevich Gritsenko

Chairman of the Board

International Union of Writers



It is with deep regret that I am compelled to submit my resignation as honorary president of the International Union of Writers, effective immediately. Given the Russian invasion of Ukraine I cannot, however indirectly, support Vladimir Putin, his government, and their expansionist ambitions.

I am grateful for the honor that the IUW afforded me, and I still believe in the importance of honest writing and its potential to create a better world. If I can be of assistance in the the furtherance of those goals, I will do what I can.


Michael Swanwick


Unknown said...

Congratulations and condolences in whatever ratio needed.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

Bravo, good sir!

Stoney Compton said...

Well done, sir. Every chip out of a cliff helps bring it down.

Unknown said...

Untill & unless the russian military presence is withdrawn from the Ukraine & her borders and can reasonably expected to remain far away, all things russian must be SHUNNED.
Thank you, sir, for your withdrawal from a post you've held with pride.

JJM said...

My heart is full of sorrow for the innocent: the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, all those who will feel the effects of this war. Including you.

It is increasingly obvious that Putin is not only delusional but has crossed the border into complete madness. He is now treading the same path as Hitler did before him, and I dread where this will lead him -- and the world.

John Farrell said...

Beautifully written.

Unknown said...

…..holding hands with Putin

We have been down this path before
no sense of deja vu seems to come through.
The evil says (and always will)
I just want this much
of what you have
and I will quit.
You know (as did your fathers)
they have no intention
of stopping any time soon.
It always seems
that when they come around
the cowards of our generation
are in command.
They can’t say stop
so they negotiate away
the lives of others
or just stand by
and let it happen,
hoping gravity
will be the deciding force.
But it isn’t a ball
that is dropping
on our collective heads
it’s a bag of angry bees.
Armchair quarterbacks
are up in arms
but don’t want
to take up arms.
Instead they become
the rodent
in the next round
of wack-a-mole.
Ronnie M Lane

alex said...

you're good

Robyn McIntyre said...

Thanks, Michael, for living up to your ideals.

Sandy said...

How sad! But I can see how it must be done.

Richard Maloney said...

Thanks, Michael. No matter how good the fiction is, we can't ignore the reality of the situation.

Meg Phillips said...

As always beautifully written and meant. Your actions set an example for all of us.

Gregory Frost... said...

Well said, sir. Regrettable as well.

EricBourland said...


Jean Marie Ward said...

I'm so sorry that the actions of a madman have forced you to walk away from an organization that meant so much to you, especially since the past few years have already given you so much grief. I salute you for your honor and your courage, and share your hope that people of good will can continue to work to make things better for all.

Angus said...

not sure how a membership or presidentship of a writers' union means supporting Russia's gov, but I can see that, in doubt, taking the distance is the way to go.

Gary McGath said...

Thank you for this. I hope you'll also reconsider your endorsement of China as a host for the Worldcon. (And thanks again for the help you gave me in researching 16th century Germany.)