The Pilgrim is a quarterly literary magazine from the homeless community of downtown Boston, edited by Atlantic staff writer James Parker and published out of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, on Tremont Street.
Since its founding in December 2011, The Pilgrim has published the work of hundreds of homeless, transitional or recently housed writers. All are part of the Black Seed Writers Group, the mystical body whose local, temporal manifestation occurs every Tuesday morning at 9.30 a.m. in the Cathedral’s basement.
What’s in The Pilgrim? Poetry, protest, memoir, prayer, rant, reportage, jubilation and despair. The master metaphor of the magazine is pilgrimage, and its proposition to the reader is that homelessness is a state of acute pilgrimage – a condition of material and occasionally moral emergency, and thus a place where the world reveals itself under the pressure, or the pouring-in, of a higher reality.
The Pilgrim is under the protection of Saint Benedict Joseph Labré, patron saint of pilgrims, the homeless, and the mentally ill, but it needs your help too. By reading these writers, you give their words a home. It’s as simple as that.
COVID-19 UPDATE: While this crisis persists, The Pilgrim will publish digital editions only. The current issue is $5.
Photo by Roy Goodwin