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The Letters Page Vol. 6, #3: A few words that go up in smoke

Letter by Sonya Moore P.S. My editor read this letter to you, and wondered if the talk of creative process imposes distance. How to get closer? I booked cheap tickets to Chartres. Then, because my chest was tight in anticipation of pain, a hotel with more stars than my budget allowed. ‘The escapade offer,’ I…

The Letters Page Vol. 6, #2: Where the Vines Will Climb

Letter by Grug Muse Dear Jon, During the lockdowns, I regularly dreamed of gardens. Not because I was deprived of one, unlike the millions confined to concrete and windowsill during those pandemic springs. I was living then with my parents, in a rural part of north Wales, with a large garden and an expanse of…

The Letters Page Vol. 6, #1: You Must Still Beware of the Wolves

Letter by Hannah Jansen Dear S, Who knows if, or when, you’ll get this. It’s rather wild out here where I am, and I can’t speak to the reliability of the mail service. Anyway, time doesn’t matter much here, even if you’re getting on where you are.

The Letters Page Vol. 5, #13: Our best wishes to you in the months ahead

Letter by Duncan Wallace To the man sitting opposite me in the beer garden: I see that you, too, are enjoying the sounds of conversation. All the tables around us are occupied, and people are chatting about their friends, their annoying colleagues, their vaguest of plans for future holidays. It is divine.

The Letters Page Vol 5, #12: The Missing of You Causes Us to Lose Our Breath

Letter by JL Bogenschneider We miss you. All of you and everything: the components that were known, unknown and those neglected parts that even now we’re finding so many uses for in their absence. We miss the filling-in that was you and find ourselves resentful of spaces you might have occupied.

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #10

Letter by Nay Saysourhino Hi Ellen,   Thank you for giving me two more extensions on the essay. I am sorry I have not been in touch since, but I am trying hard to finish the work, and it is my hope that I will be able to send the completed edits by tomorrow morning. It is, I must stress, a hope. 

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #9: Bless, Bless

Letter by Nancy Campbell Dear Sigrún— I should be with you in Reykjavík, where tonight there’s an opening party for an exhibition at the National Library of Iceland. What an irony that JAÐARLÖND (“Borderlands”) is about cross-border communication. Instead I’m locked down in Oxford.

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #8: You’ve Been Wondering About My Life

Letter by Julia Zarankin Dear Universe,  You’ve been wondering about my life, about my routine, about how I’ve been spending my days. You mentioned Annie Dillard’s famous words, ‘how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,’ and it makes me shudder. These days have yielded so very little and so very much. 

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #7: We Are Already Finding New Ways to Touch

Letter by Rachael Smart Dear Jon,  I’m writing from my temporary office at the ping-pong table. In these strange capsules we call days, a ping-pong table isn’t as redundant as it might sound for a work base. When the death tolls spike and the gravity of other people’s loss presses at my chest, so that it’s…

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #6: Be Kind, Be Calm, and Be Safe

Letter by Aislinn Hunter Hey You, How goes your self-isolation? Is it bad where you are? Sometimes now, when I walk on the trails near my home and meet another hiker, one or the other of us will back into a trough of fern to awkwardly pretend social distancing is normal, and I’ll ask ‘So…

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #5: For Billy Pilgrim

Letter by Jody Kennedy Dear Billy, I think you’d probably like the South of France in spring when everything is still fresh and new (the almond trees are the first to bloom), before the summer heat (especially in late afternoon) brings the cicada’s incessant poo-tee-weet (about mid-June), dries the grass to brittle stalk, turns the lavender…

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #4: Dear Comrade Ma and Ba

Letter by Haisu Huang Dear Comrade Ma and Ba,  Last time I wrote you I eloped to America to marry my wife. You replied with silence. I thought we’d talk about it when I visited you in the summer.

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #3: We’re Good, But Just Not Good Enough

Letter by Ziggy Zezsyazeoviennazabrizkie Marcy,   I know we have WhatsApp and you’re always online on Facebook, but I think I should do this with a letter – hand written. Gosh, can you believe how archaic? But I need you to know how much I need you to know, and how difficult this is for…

The Letters Page, Vol 5, #2: “Simple Mail”

Letter by Xu Xi Dear Jon, How odd that I should write you on my “corporate” letterhead. There were several correspondents from Indonesia (the country of my former nationality) in the most recent issue of The Letters Page to land on my desk.

Running Away From the Things We Don’t Understand

Letter by Farida Susanty Dear Ziggy,   I hope this letter finds you well. A week has passed since our first meeting in London, but I still think about the event that we ran away from, the London Book Fair.