Poets & Writers Magazine welcomes letters from its readers. Please post a comment on select articles at www.pw.org/magazine, e-mail email@example.com, 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.
The best part of Rachel Lieff Axelbank’s article “Typewriters in the 21st Century” (January/February 2015), in addition to being fun to read, is the recognition that writing and editing are not the same thing. Computers have made this distinction almost impossible, and it’s one of the most challenging things to convey when teaching any writing course. The “ease of correcting” on a computer diminishes the real work of writing well—revision. Writers get the idea that revision is simply changing a word here and there rather than “re-visioning,” or rethinking the writing. By constantly fixing small mistakes on the computer, writers get so bogged down that they sometimes don’t finish their work. The reason for this is that writing and editing use different parts of the brain, and by switching back and forth all the time, well, the results are clear. For those of us who teach writing “the old-fashioned way,” I say, “Viva typewriters!”
Excerpted from a comment on pw.org by Molly Larson Cook
In Medias Res
I loved Kevin Larimer’s interview with Roman Muradov (“Muradov’s Accidental Inspiration,” January/February 2015). I love the idea that Muradov’s characters are always in the middle of reading, writing, or making something, and there is never a beginning or an end. I don’t really remember beginning or choosing to begin to become an artist, I just remember loving to read and write, and creating and living in fantastical worlds. I hope no matter how old I become I will still be contributing to the world with some form of beautiful, inspiring art.
Excerpted from a comment on pw.org by Janelle Fila
I couldn’t resist sending a note regarding the interview with artist Roman Muradov. It really resonated with me. Muradov is an artist after my own heart. I love the January/February 2015 issue in general, and I’ve kept all of the annual Inspiration Issues so far.
San Luis Obispo, California
I enjoyed the article “Why We Write: Going Back to Where It Was” by Carolyn Roy-Bornstein (January/February 2015). I’ve grappled with how to write about the grief I have experienced in my own life—things that have been difficult to put down on paper—and I can relate to how Roy-Bornstein felt having to minimize her feelings. Her description of beginning by writing in her journals to express her thoughts was encouraging, and it was just the reassurance I needed to move forward with my own story without fear. Thank you for a wonderful article!
Anderson, South Carolina
I can’t stop thinking about Ben Percy’s piece in @poetswritersinc (“Feckless Pondering: Emotional Beats and the Art of Repose,” January/February 2015). I struggle all the time with plot placement...and navel gazing.
Small Press Saviors
How inspiring it was to read about the enthusiasm, generosity, and energy of these small presses, their champions, and their authors (“Let’s Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and Their Publishing Partners” by Kevin Larimer, November/December 2014). It is an antidote to the cynicism of so many other aspects of life.
Saratoga Springs, New York