Feedback from readers
Well, here I am again, inspired to write a few choice words about your fabulous magazine. Two things: I love how you put faces on the Features section of the Contents pages. It is always nice to see my fellow writers.
Second, I am quite jealous of the notebooks featured in “The Smudge and the Scrawl: Inside the Writer’s Notebook (January/February 2021). See, a few years ago I had a small stroke that left my writing hand useless. I can’t even read my own scribbles, so I have to assign my thoughts to the typed word. My laptop is my savior, but yes, it is quite impersonal. I can only retain my wildest thoughts in my head. So I’ll end with a few words of wisdom for my fellow writers: Scribble, scrawl, and raise hell with your muse on whatever piece of parchment you can find, lest one day you find yourself in my predicament! True art has no boundaries, unless your body can no longer handle the chore. Thanks again for this beautiful magazine. I look forward to every issue.
Reading the letters to the editor in the January/February 2021 issue prompts me to add a note. In response to Shawn Nocher, who writes, “When a mature writer publishes for the first time the work and author are often recognized with a wink,” over and over I see references of this sort. I was seventy when my first poetry collection was published. I had never thought about mentioning my age. I wasn’t hiding it; it just never occurred to me. Isn’t it about the writing? Since then I have been fortunate to have had five collections chosen to be published—three full collections and two chapbooks. (Of course, as I wrote I got older and older.) My view is the longer we live the more material and the more information we have to draw from, and this unique personal treasure should be highly valued.
Top tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media ephemera
In response to the editor’s note in the January/February 2021 issue (“The Smudge and the Scrawl”), in which Kevin Larimer suggested revisiting old journals and notebooks, writers took to Twitter to share what they found in their archives. “I keep everything I’ve written the past 26 years, soooo many notebooks. It is really interesting to go back I agree,” wrote Roshni Beeharry (@roshni_beeharry). “I found lyrics to a song I wrote when I was 22,” added Stephanie Gangi (@gangi_land), “and it will live intact in my next novel, Carry the Dog, coming October ’21 from @AlgonquinBooks.” Over on Facebook, Miriam O’Neal responded to the cover feature by writing, “I write almost everything in longhand first, so [I] love just staring at these artifacts.”
Three of the most popular posts from pw.org
1. “A Life in Poetry: Our Sixteenth Annual Look at Debut Poets” (January/February 2021) by Dana Isokawa
2. “Ten Writers on Writing Advice” (12/22/20)
3. “Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin” (January/February 2021)
(Photo courtesy of Aimee Nezhukumatathil)