Feedback from readers
I want to say thank you for giving voice to so many beautiful Black writers in “I’m Writing to You: Letters From Writers of the Black Literary Community” (September/October 2020). As a Black professional journalist, a newspaper reporter no less, I often feel alone and love to read/hear/see my brothers and sisters in print and online. The letters were poignant, welcoming, familiar, and oh so true. I’ll keep this issue in my car to read again and again when I’m on road trips for stories or just waiting for an appointment. As a Black father, husband, son, friend, and journalist, I thought it was great to see that much space dedicated to our voices in a prominent magazine. Thank you.
Thank you, thank you for “I’m Writing to You.” I just started a subscription. The writers come from different backgrounds and experiences, but it seems a common thread addressed to white readers is something like: “We’ve known this forever; why are you just now catching on?” I am definitely that person. I was so transformed by these short, passionate bursts of politics and personal experience. Thank you again, and I look forward to being a regular reader.
The entire September/October 2020 issue is stunning. I am reading it slowly, allowing the letters in “I’m Writing to You” to steep in my mind, heart, and spirit. As a white man who teaches writing and edits a literary journal, I am especially grateful to Namrata Poddar (“Return to the MFA: A Call for Systemic Change in the Literary Arts”) and Rachelle Cruz (“We Need New Metaphors: Reimagining Power in the Creative Writing Workshop”) for their incisive analysis of the ways white supremacy plays out in workshops and the writing they produce. I’ll be rereading these articles often as I apply increased scrutiny to my own practices.
Top tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media ephemera
Candace McDuffie (@candace.mcduffie), a contributor to “I’m Writing to You,” shared the photo below on Instagram. “Just a friendly reminder from my mama on this lovely Sunday afternoon to pick up the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine because I’m in it,” she wrote. “My letter addressed white gatekeepers in publishing with a call to show up for Black writers with humility, sincerity, and regularity.” Ashley Rose (@ashleyrosepoet) replied, “Mama raised you right.”