Excerpt from “We Regret to Inform You” by Brenda Miller
by Anca Szilagyi
We’re getting excited about Brenda Miller’s performance of “We Regret to Inform You”! Originally published in The Sun, this memoir-in-rejection-letters explores the many “nos” we encounter in our lives and how we find or create for ourselves a yes. As a special touch, we’ve invited previous Furnace contributors such as Catherine Smyka and Nancy Kim as well as performers like Elissa Ball to participate in the reading of this piece.
Here’s a taste:
April 12, 1970Dear Young Artist:Thank you for your attempt to draw a tree. We appreciate your efforts, especially the way you sat patiently on the sidewalk, gazing at that tree for an hour before setting pen to paper, and the many quick strokes of charcoal you executed with enthusiasm. But your smudges look nothing like a tree. In fact, they look like nothing at all, and the pleasure and pride you take in the work are not enough to redeem it. We are pleased to offer you remedial training in the arts, but we cannot accept your “drawing” for display.With Regret and best wishes,The Art ClassAndasol Avenue Elementary School
See you Friday, May 9!