"This is my letter to the world/That never wrote to me."
The first two lines of Emily Dickinson's famous poem were a major inspiration for Red Room's mission to connect readers with their favorite authors. We never stop striving to be the place where, through the power of brilliant writing and authentic community, the world does write you back.
What I love about Emily Dickinson's story is that, even though she got almost no recognition for her poetry during her lifetime, she was driven to write anyway. She wrote poetry-her letters to the world-because she had to write, and not because she had any reason to expect a reply.
A few weeks ago, we asked Red Roomers to post a letter to their favorite authors on their Red Room blogs. The author might be alive or dead, and have a page on Red Room or not. Bloggers let us know what you love about their work, ask a question they'd always wanted to ask, or address that bone they'd always had to pick with them.
Several bloggers will receive books by Red Room authors:
Richard Martin says he could write to Salinger, Thomas, O'Connor, etc., but in "Dear Unknown Writer," he reaches instead to the anonymous, creative soul whose acquaintance through literature he has yet to make.
Lisa Marie Basile's letter begins "Oh Albert Camus, can you teach me about death and God?" Read her plaintive message, "Today, Maman is Dead."
We were delighted by J.C. Montgomery's cheerful encouragement, and choose to think a reply is in order since he was writing to us (and to you!). Thanks, J.C.!
A few bloggers will receive books by Red Room authors. Pushcart Prize-winning author Harrison Solow's new book Felicity & Barbara Pym (Cinnamon Press) is an epistolary, cross-genre work of fiction and nonfiction that questions the conventional principles of a liberal arts education. Marin County, California, poet laureate Albert Flynn DeSilver's Letters to Early Street (2007, La Alameda Press) is "a whimsical epistolary experiment, a turning of the traditional letter onto its poetic ear."
You can read all the favorite author blogs here.The late Elizabeth Hardwick said, "Letters are above all useful as a means of expressing the ideal self; and no other method of communication is quite so good for this purpose." Thanks for participating in our blog topics of the week!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room