Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Letter Project

I am starting a new blog that will be filled--I hope--with exceptional correspondence about writing and writers. The blog will be called THE LETTER PROJECT. The project started with an assignment I gave one of my classes, but I want to open the project up to anyone who loves writing and writers. Please consider contributing to this project. Below is a tentative description of the project. Please feel free to pass the information on to others you think might be interested. Thanks.

THE LETTER PROJECT stems from my lifelong love of writing and receiving letters through the mail. I collect authors’ and artists’ letters. One of my favorite collection of letters is the poet James Wright’s. A Wild Perfection shows Wright’s curiosity, struggle, failure, and triumph. As the introduction to the letters states: “As we read these letters, we pull our chairs into the circle and listen to both Wright’s serious and comedic discussions …” I hope this this blog will serve a similar purpose: to bring virtual readers into a circle of sharing.

People express themselves differently in letters than in any other form of writing. It has been said that in letters we find the writer’s soul. That’s why it is so important to keep letter-writing alive. This blog is a repository for actual letters–written and sent. Each letter deals in some way with a literary author or work. It may be an author or work the letter-writer loves, is curious about, or has a sudden insight about.

If you would like to write a letter and have it appear on this blog, here are the things you need to know:

1. You must actually write a letter to a real person. The letter should deal with the following subject matter: a writer or written work that is important to you.

2. You must put that letter into a business-size envelope, address it, and put adequate postage on it. Any letter which is four or more pages long will probably require extra postage.

3. Do not seal the letter. Do not put any objects into the letter, such as jewelry, artwork, or photographs.

4. Put the unsealed, addressed letter into a larger envelope and send to me at: Theresa Williams, Dept. of English, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403.

5. Inside the larger envelope, include a short letter to me in which you say something about yourself, provide snail mail contact information, and provide your e-mail address.

6. After reading your original letter, I will seal and mail it. (It is very important that the letter be in a business-size envelope. Due to new postal regulations, anything larger must be mailed “in person,” and I don’t have time to do more than drop your letter into a mailbox.)

7. Only the best letters will be included on this blog. If I decide to include your letter, you will receive an e-mail from me with comments and further instructions. Even if your letter doesn’t appear on the blog, you still will have done a very important thing.

8. Be sure to keep a copy of your letter.

1 comment:

alphawoman said...

This sounds like a great project. I will keep it in my bloglines to track it. I have long ago stopped writing letters, maybe e-mail was available to me. But I still send cards and postcards to people all the time. It is such a wonderful feeling to open your mail box and find a piece of snail mail!

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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

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