LETTERS IN THE MAIL: the rumpus sends me original letters from authors i love. you?

Yesterday I got my second letter in the mail. The first one (“Dear people”, it begins) was handwritten and illustrated by Lorelei Lee. The second one (“Dear strangers”) was by Matthew Zapruder [check this out]. In addition to a beautiful, original poem, Matthew shared some insights:

“These Rumpus letters are actually a lot like poems. Like a poem, this letter gives me, the writer, an opportunity to write intimately to you, strangers. That’s also a great thing about being a poet: you get to write these little messages, free of all the obligations of commerce and purpose, and send them out into the world. You get to create spaces made of language where people can maybe feel things they wouldn’t otherwise feel. Like making free dreams people can borrow”. And:

“Poems are the public use of private language, and they quietly yet insistently occupy a small part of the public space of language, no matter what anyone says”.

I can’t recommend Letters in the Mail highly enough. Almost every week you get a new letter by these wonderful authors who are taking the opportunity to address the real world of strangers in real time. Most of them (both of the above did) provide their address so you can write them back. Is there anything better?

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Evan Karp