The Love Affair

I’ll just get right to the point: I love letters. I love writing them, I love reading them, and I love picking out nice little cards to make them special. If someone were to ask me why I love them so much I would give them a simple answer: they’re just so personal.

Having said this, it comes as no surprise to me that my first summer hit is a letter published in Artful Dodge 40/41. If you’re familiar with past issues of the Dodge, you may recognize poet John Kooistra and some of the letters that have appeared in the Dodge’s pages.

I don’t want to ramble on and on forever, but I think the opening paragraph in “A Letter from Cook Inlet, Alaska” exemplifies a lot of what it is that makes me so passionate about letters (and writing in general, of course):

 

I’VE BEEN MEANING to e-mail you but that turns out to be quite clumsy around here logistics-wise. And otherwise, I’m not much of a space-age guy. So I like to sit down with a letter, take it to the mat so to speak—which means, I guess, to have the time and space to visit the person you’re writing. And you’re kind of a homey guy what with your cats and living in an old-school house and knowing bird songs, etc. And, since fishing has been shut down, I have time to effect the above. But the danger is that this letter may turn into a cross-pollination between venting and a long sigh.

 

Perhaps e-mail is the more convenient medium, but I find that e-mails don’t really seem to go the same distance. I get that sitting down and writing a letter takes more time, and waiting for it to reach its destination is always a longer process, but I think that is actually part of the charm. Kooistra talks about having “the time and space to visit the person you’re writing,” and I think this is an important part of the writing process: imagining a place, and considering the life of the person in that place, and wanting that writing to mean something there.

All of this is not to say I dislike e-mail—not at all! The thing is, out of the two, snail mail is definitely my best beau.

 

Happy reading!

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

 

And remember…

            As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.
            This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.
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About artfuldodgewooster

Ohio based literary magazine, now over twenty years old, still in print, and gradually spreading across the digital world. Official Website: artfuldodge.sites.wooster.edu
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