Jonathan Franzen, Erica Jong, and Others

Hear Jonathan Franzen, Erica Jong, and other celebrated writers on what Poets & Writers means to them. Add a comment of your own. And, please contribute to the 40th Anniversary Campaign. Our goal is to raise $1 million for the future of Poets & Writers. With these funds, we will will establish the Galen Williams Endowment, create a new Fellowship Program to train future leaders for the field, and invest in Writers Online, an innovation fund to take our online and digital assets to the next level.

Roxana Robinson

I think I first encountered Poets & Writers when I was living in northern Westchester, and I was starting to write, and not yet publishing, which is really the loneliest moment in a writer’s life.

—Roxana Robinson, writer

Sandra Beasley

One of the things I love about the [Maureen Egen Writers] Exchange Award is that it takes the creative side of writing and it takes the practical side of writing, the publishing and the marketing, and the things that I think a lot of writers are kind of embarrassed to admit an interest in, and it treats it as one holistic world.
—Sandra Beasley, author of I Was the Jukebox (Norton, 2010) and winner of the 2008 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

Susan G. Wooldridge

I thrive as part of a team. I’ve loved being sponsored by my friends at Poets & Writers and California Center for the Book to lead workshops in more than fifty small California towns over the years—from libraries in Imperial and El Centro to Markleesville, South Lake Tahoe, Yreka and Alturas. Working with Poets & Writers has changed my life.


Sarah Gambito

I saw my first issue and I was like, I have to have this! I'm a subscriber. I'll continue to be a subscriber. [As a teacher], now I'm able to recommend it to a new crop of students who are looking for direction.
—Sarah Gambito
, poet, professor, and co-founder of Kundiman.

Jane Friedman

It seems that every year and more recently, every day, there is a new development that presents a transformation of the publishing world. But the one thing that has and will always remain the same is the importance of writers.

Without writers there would be no books, no best-selling books, no books to download onto an e-reader, no beloved poetry to discuss on Facebook, and no captivating stories to turn into movies. And without an organization like Poets & Writers, authors would not receive the critical support they need to grow and develop their craft.


Nikki Williams

I had asked the women living in a women's shelter in the South Bronx to update a nursery rhyme to fit the times; one that would reflect their lives. L. B.'s poem folded me into humility with its truth and power:

Mary had a big, bad man
Big, bad man
Big, bad man
Mary had a big, bad man
Who beat her all day long.
He beat her from the day they met
Day they met
Day they met
He beat her from the day they met
'Til she could take no more.

—L. B.


Erica Jong

When I look back at the support that I got as a very young writer, Poets & Writers was very important because it made me feel like I had a profession.
—Erica Jong, writer

Veronica Golos

What describes all my years with Poets & Writers as a poet, curator, and teacher? Support, belonging, pride, fun, friendship, colleagues, dinners, fundraisings, the excitement of receiving, the grace of giving, funds used for poets, writers, curators, teachers, bringing words out, helping them secure a place, the grand meetings, an organization run by writers and poets, national, the magazine a refuge, a font of information and inquiry, fun, a kick.