Life in Letters

Life in Letters

By Sakshi Rawal

Edited by Lizzie Alblas

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

Charles Darwin wrote a letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker in 1844 in which he said:  

At last gleams of light have come, & I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable.”  

We are powerless against change. And just as we evolve over time, so does our art. It changes to accommodate us, to accompany us. Human beings are a very tactile species. We cannot resist the feeling of satisfaction that overcomes us when we bury our hands in a basket of grain or scratch the scruff of our pets. For me, it’s writing letters. The sound of the tip of my pen scratching against the handmade paper and seeing the ink go from a glossy black to tattooing itself on the pages as if it was always there. There are few things in life that give me the same type of joy.  

Letters are a personal painting of words. Like the drawings done by artists on the streets on Europe, no two are the same. Each one is made specially for you. I have always been tempted by the idea of reading other’s letters, to glimpse into their soft confessions and secrets. 

The Letters Page offers this one-of-a-kind experience, to read letters written by people from around the word. The journal itself, which was started by the School of English in the University of Nottingham in 2013. The physical copy comes with the actual letters themselves attached within the manuscript, making the experience so much more real. It is one of the few publications that understand the value of letters and the importance of writing them. It is quite rare to stumble upon epistolary journals and even more so ones which feature a variety of writers such as, Joanna Walsh, Kevin Barry, Claire-Louise Bennett and many more. Anyone can acquire a physical copy by purchasing it from the shop, however the last edition is available through an email newsletter to which you can subscribe here.

While I’m sure Charles Darwin was correct in his observation that the human species are not immutable, I will leave you with a lingering question. If we are ever-evolving, then why do we keep the monuments around, or collect antiques, or press flowers between pages or even…..write letters? 

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The Letters Page team are back in the office, and ready to read your real letters again. We publish stories, essays, poems, memoir, reportage, criticism, recipes, travelogue, and any hybrid forms, so long as they come to us in the form of a letter. We are looking for writers of all nationalities and ages, both established and emerging.

Your letter must be sent in the post, to :

The Letters Page, School of English, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.

See our submissions page for more information.

To stay up to date on The Letters Page newsletter publication, subscribe here.

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