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.

About artfuldodgewooster

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