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Poets & Writers Magazine welcomes feedback from its readers. Please post a comment on select articles at www.pw.org/magazine, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Editor, Poets & Writers Magazine, 90 Broad Street, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10004. Letters accepted for publication may be edited for clarity and length.
CHANNELING DIY SPIRIT
What a wonderful item about how to make a pocket-size book (“DIY: How to Make a Pocket-Size Book,” November/December2010). Here in Rhode Island, poets Lynnie Gobeille, Barbara Schweitzer, and I have been producing books in this form for a few years as founders of the Origami Poems Project. The single-page, origami-folded books we create are distributed for free in many locations, and the response has been wonderful: We often receive encouraging e-mails from readers who have sighted our books in display boxes or Ziploc bags on telephone poles, or have received a book from a friend.
Cumberland, Rhode Island
ANGLES OF ACCEPTANCE
Thank you for Kevin Nance’s enlightening article on the take-and-give of editing a literary magazine (“The New Broom,” November/December 2010). I have a better picture now of two journals that in the past had accepted poems of mine, changed editors, and then sent rejection notices. Having work refused in this way was an awful wallop to the soul, but I now see the scenario through clearer eyes.
I am an undergrad, a sophomore, and I want to get an MFA. Seth Abramson’s rankings (“The MFA Revolution: Ranking the Nation’s Best Programs,” September/October 2010) have helped me make a decision about where to apply.… I need as many facts as I can get, and his article helps. And, as someone who currently lives below poverty level, I appreciate the rankings. Anyone who says they dismiss Poets & Writers Magazine because of these rankings is missing the entire point of the publication. And they should know that poor folks like myself rely on such thoroughness.
Excerpted from a comment on pw.org by CARVINGCARVER
WRITING AGAINST THE ODDS
Thanks to Rachel Kadish for her article “Face the Fear: A Rallying Cry for Writers” (September/October 2010). This kind of essay—rousing, encouraging, inspiring to all of us trying to make sense of the writer’s life—is the reason I continue to read Poets & Writers Magazine. Not for the fifty best of this or the ten must-dos of that, but for articles that remind me why I write even when it seems to be the last thing the world is interested in.
I have enjoyed Poets & Writers Magazine for years, but I never expect to find political opinions inside. However, Kadish’s “Face the Fear” crossed the line into politics. Midway through the article, she states, “A true violence was done to language in this country during the W. years—a hollowing out of meaning, a relentless, soul-deadening dumbing down of public conversation.” I respect her right to her own opinion, but am agitated because your magazine is not the proper place for this type of comment. The magazine needs to continue to focus on helping writers and poets hone their craft and find publishing outlets. Thanks for an otherwise excellent magazine.
The number of books published by Kamau Brathwaite was incorrectly stated in Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin (November/December 2010). Elegguas, published last October, is Brathwaite’s twenty-fourth book and his twenty-third poetry collection. And in “The Resurrection and the Life” by Kevin Nance (November/December 2010), we failed to note that Christian Wiman’s poem “When the Time’s Toxins” first appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of Orion magazine.