Editor’s Note – Letters

Our era is characterized by the revival of the written word. It wasn’t so long ago when expressing oneself through a letter seemed quaint and sentimental, almost romantic, and indeed the act of picking up a pen and writing to someone is, for many of us, as retro as playing a vinyl record or using a dial phone.

But, as so often happens in the course of human history, it isn’t the impulse that has transformed, but the technology. In this era of emails, texting, blogging, Whatsapps, posts and tweets, we have all become experts at setting down our impressions, rebellions, frustrations and even our passing thoughts in writing. There is no aspect of our lives which fails to feed into a stream of written communication.

In this issue, we wanted to ponder the ways that the stories and truths of our lives unfold through epistolary text. The work in this collection runs the gamut from “traditional” letter writing through 21st-century technology, from long expressive outpourings to the elemental symbolism of our smallest unit of communication: the very letters of our alphabets.

As you read through this collection of poems, stories and essays, consider how the new forms of expression that characterize our era change and shape the way we think, the way we see, and the way we reveal ourselves.