The Poetry of earth is never dead. Dear Caller’, our latest publication, came through the post around the time I had taken up reading the poet Keats. I had turned to the great Romantic for insight, to develop my sense of the poetic, and encourage my love of the natural world. After all, there must have been a reason why his poetic legacy has endured, right?
By Will Dawson Edited by Jon McGregor and Kristin Schanke ‘There’s a kind of time…
Imagine you can conjure and print with any ink in any colour, including in neon and metallic. Sustainably. Imagine now the creative possibilities that this would give to you as a small publishing press.
I must admit, when Jon first said the word aerogramme in one of our meetings earlier this winter, I had no idea what he was referring to. Jon must have noticed confused looks on a few other faces as well. He asked if we knew what an aerogramme was, to which he received a handful of hesitant head shakes.
Just in case you’re as confused as I was, let me explain what Jon was talking about.
When I sat down to interview Lisa McInerney of The Stinging Fly, from the bitter mid-December chill of my University bedroom, Lisa assured me it was just as cold where she was, a few hundred miles away in her native Ireland: ‘I went out for a run this morning and when I came back, I do not joke, I have photographic evidence, there was frost in my hair!’
Dear readers of The Letters Page,
This is a letter of introduction, although I must confess I did not handwrite it first. My name is Annabel Wearring-Smith, and I am the new Guest Editor for The Letters Page. It’s a pleasure to be working for you.
‘There’s a kind of time travel in letters, isn’t there?’
The Vindolanda tablets are a set of writing tablets, dating from the late 1st to early 2nd centuries AD and unearthed in northern England in the 1970s. They form a remarkable cache of correspondence received by the garrison of the Roman fort of Vindolanda, close to what would become Hadrian’s Wall. They are made of wood shavings, written on with pen and ink. (It is worth reminding ourselves that, whilst the pen and paper of today are starting to be seen as old fashioned, other methods of letter writing have also fallen by the wayside.) Over 1600 have been found over the decades since the first discovery. Together, they are among the oldest letters in British history.
I have a confession to make. I’ve never actually written a real letter. This is perhaps gauche, considering I’m working on a literary journal whose sole focus it is to publish letters. But I’m a gen Z and we communicate with everything but pen and paper, so hopefully you’ll forgive me. Through my work with The Letters Page though, I’ve had the absolute delight of reading some of the best (totally unbiased opinion here) letters that are out there. So, in an attempt to pop my letter-writing cherry, here is a letter entirely composed of some of my favourite lines of yours; it is an homage to letters past, to letter-writing, and to intangible connections.
I am not a particularly massive fan of Oasis. I know their biggest songs (everyone knows Wonderwall) and I am also aware of the decades long fervent animosity that still remains between brothers Liam and Noel. Perhaps you’re wondering the relevance (or rather lack of it) to this article, yet as I sit down at my desk, searching for inspiration for this piece, in the next room my Dad’s vinyl of Oasis’ Half the World Away’ is crackling and whirring as the needle first presses onto the record.