I’m so fortunate to have interesting friends who are always doing creative things. Case in point is my friend Megan Galbraith. Below, you’ll see a letter Megan wrote calling for people to write love letters to ourselves. Megan has written one to herself, and if you’re game, she’ll trade with you. I’m working on my own love letter to myself right now. It’s not an easy task, but I’m glad Megan asked me to try it. I hope you will too. Check out Megan’s directions below.
Earlier this year, in the midst of personal despair, I came across a self-care tip that seemed simple enough: write a love letter to myself. I tried it. It knocked me on my ass.
As much as I poo-poo the self-care industrial complex, writing that letter did help. It also got me thinking hard about love, wanting more of it in my life, and about ways to collectively build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
So, as part of The Dollhouse, I’m launching a collaborative project called “Love Letters to Ourselves.”
I want to revive the art of letter writing, spread the love around, and understand how other people love themselves.
Will you write one? I want to see your beautiful soul.
Here’s what to do:
1. Write a love letter to yourself in any form
2. Include your name and return address
3. Put it in an envelope, lick a stamp and . . .
4. Mail your letter to:
Lisette Ophelia Von Elsevier (see what I did there?)
P.O. Box 483
Cambridge, NY 12816
5. When I receive it, I’ll mail you my love letter to myself.
6. Voila! Pen Pals.
Send me some love!
All my love,
The year is slipping away, but here are a few last-minute reading recommendations. Enjoy!
Megan Culhane Galbraith has a short essay about sex, virginity, and Planned Parenthood online at Boink: http://boinkzine.com/2017/11/10/losing-it/.
Linda Michel-Cassidy’s essay, “This Snow, This Day,” (originally published at Harpur Palate) has been republished at Entropy: https://entropymag.org/this-snow-this-day/.
Rosemary Royston has two poems in the new issue of museum of america: https://themuseumofamericana.net/current-issue/two-poems-by-rosemary-royston/.
Brian Tierney’s poem, “Morning in Galilee,” is online at Cincinnati Review: https://www.cincinnatireview.com/samples/morning-in-galilee-by-brian-tierney/
You don’t want to miss this fascinating conversation in real pants, “HALF REVEALING, AND HALF CONCEALING THE SOUL: BARRETT WARNER INTERVIEWS CASSIE PRUYN”: https://realpants.com/half-revealing-and-half-concealing-the-soul-barrett-warner-interviews-cassie-pruyn/.
And Christian Whitney’s story, “Acceptance,” was a finalist in the summer fiction contest at Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. Check out the story here: https://gulfstreamlitmag.com/acceptance/.
Here’s a quick list of some of the wonderful poetry and nonfiction that I’ve found online in the last couple of weeks. This list is woefully short of fiction recommendations, but I’ll try to fix that soon. In the meantime, enjoy these pieces:
Joanne Nelson has a new essay, “Just Leave the Damn Thing Open” online in the new issue of museum of americana: https://themuseumofamericana.net/current-issue/just-leave-the-damn-thing-open-nonfiction-by-joanne-nelson/.
Linda Michel-Cassidy interviewed Louise Marburg for Why There Are Words: https://www.wtawpress.org/louise-marburg-interview?platform=hootsuite
Megan Culhane-Galbraith and Walter Robinson both have work listed as Notable Essays in the Best American Essays 2017. Megan’s piece, “Sin Will Find You Out” was originally published at Catapult: https://catapult.co/stories/sin-will-find-you-out. Walter’s essay, “This Will Sting and Burn,” was originally published at The Sun: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/481/this-will-sting-and-burn.
Didi Jackson has a beautiful poem, “Signs for the Living,” in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/02/signs-for-the-living.
Corina Zappia has a brilliant new essay in Catapult about growing up in Texas, and a lot of it sure reminds me of what it’s like to live in Tennessee: https://catapult.co/stories/places-loving-hating-and-being-from-texas.
Cassie Pruyn’s poetry collection, Lena, has been reviewed by Lambda Literary Review: https://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/09/13/lena-by-cassie-pruyn/ .
Emily Mohn-Slate’s poem, “Landscape with Ex-husband Lingering,” has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award by Gulf Stream Literary Magazine: https://gulfstreamlitmag.com/landscape-with-ex-husband-lingering/
I don’t know if it’s something in the air or the water, but I’ve read some really wonderful nonfiction pieces lately, and I wanted to share them.
After the birth of her children, Emily Mohn-Slate had trouble finding her way back to herself. Check out her essay at Racked: https://www.racked.com/2017/6/19/15757368/motherhood-bodies-postpartum-clothes .
If I told you, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” you might think I was speaking about Elizabeth Warren, but I’m actually talking about Megan Culhane Galbraith. She writes about how divine rules were meant to be broken for The Coachella Review: http://thecoachellareview.com/wordpress/talking-points/
I love to read book reviews and interviews, especially when they are smart and insightful. K.L. Brown interviewed Brad Listi over at Entropy: https://entropymag.org/otherppl-with-brad-listi-an-interview-with-the-interviewer-of-todays-leading-writers/
And Cassie Pruyn reviewed Joshua Jennifer Espinoza’s second book, There Should Be Flowers, for Blackbird: http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v16n1/nonfiction/pruyn-c/flowers_page.shtml#.WUqxKA_P-PU.facebook.
Cassie Pruyn has her own book of poetry, Lena, that was recently released by Texas Tech University Press. If you don’t own it yet, you really should buy it immediately. I’ll be sharing more about this beautiful collection soon, but as a teaser, check out this mention at Rosemary and Reading Glasses: https://rosemaryandreadingglasses.com/2017/07/18/recommended-reading-lena-by-cassie-pruyn/.
As the new year is starting, I wanted to share some of the great stories, poems and essays that I’ve been reading lately. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.
Darnell Arnoult’s essay, When I Started to Cry, is online at Blackbird: http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v15n2/nonfiction/arnoult-d/started_page.shtml.
Becky Bond, who is always hilarious, writes about the anxiety that comes with filling out forms: http://www.beckybondwrites.com/ffa-form-filling-anxiety.
Agatha French, the new staff writer in books at the Los Angeles Times, recently interviewed Stephanie Danler about her bestseller, Sweetbitter: http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-danler-sweetbitter-20160916-snap-story.html. She also interviewed Jill Soloway and Eileen Myles about creativity, “queer art,” and the end of their relationship: http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-soloway-myles-20161031-story.html?utm_source=Books&utm_campaign=5465d277fe-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_10_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ee9d7b9236-5465d277fe-79848189.
Megan Galbraith’s wonderful essay, Learning to Mother Myself, was published in The Manifest Station: http://themanifeststation.net/2016/11/22/learning-to-mother-myself/.
Keith Lesmeister’s forthcoming collection, We Could Have Been Happy Here, is included in Memorious’s list of most anticipated books of 2017: https://memoriousmag.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/barrett-bowlins-anticipated-books-of-2017/.
Linda Michel-Cassidy interviewed Gonzalo Torne for The Rumpus: http://therumpus.net/2016/11/the-rumpus-interview-with-gonzalo-torne/.
Shawna Kay Rodenberg has written an important article about education, coal and poverty in Eastern Kentucky for Salon: http://www.salon.com/2016/12/31/sheltering-in-place-for-students-in-donald-trump-loving-coal-country-school-choice-isnt-a-solution/.
Susan Pagani’s story, The Fledgling, is in the new issue of The Rappahannock Review: http://www.rappahannockreview.com/susan-pagani-the-fledgling-f/.
Cassie Pruyn wrote a brilliant essay for VIDA that you should read and share: http://www.vidaweb.org/report-from-the-field-speaking-into-silences/.
Corina Zappia is a frequent contributor to The Stranger’s Food & Drink section. Recently, she wrote “Mackerel, You Sexy Bastard: In Defense of Sardines, Herring, and other Maligned Fishy Fish,” http://www.thestranger.com/food-and-drink/2016/10/26/24645304/mackerel-you-sexy-bastard and “Washington Is Getting so Cheesy,” http://www.thestranger.com/food-and-drink/2016/09/09/24551761/washington-is-getting-so-cheesy.
I know most of us are thinking about how quickly Christmas is coming, but sometimes it’s good to take some time for ourselves by sinking into something good to read. Here are some recommendations for your reading or listening pleasure.
Libby Flores was the guest on a recent episode of THE HOW THE WHY podcast: http://1888.center/the-how-the-why-152-libby-flores/.
Kate Jayroe has a new poem up at Ink Node: https://www.inknode.com/katejayroe/screen-door. Kate was also recently interviewed at NANO Fiction in anticipation of the fact that they will soon publish her story, “Jeep.” http://nanofiction.org/weekly-feature/interviews/2016/12/five-questions-with-kate-jayroe.
Cassie Pruyn has some beautiful new poems online at The Common http://www.thecommononline.org/closeted-duchess-county and at Liminal Stories http://liminalstoriesmag.com/issue2/aubade.
Barrett Warner is featured on a recent edition of The Speakeasy: https://soundcloud.com/fsuliteraryarts/the-speakeasy-ep-4-barrett-warner. Barrett’s book Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? was reviewed over at The Loch Raven Review: https://thelochravenreview.net/barrett-warner-why-is-it-so-hard-to-kill-you-reviewed-by-alan-c-reese/. And because I know from personal experience that it’s impossible to get enough of Barrett, you’ll want to check out this video of Barrett reading at Why There Are Words: https://www.facebook.com/WhyThereAreWords/videos/10153872952201933/?autoplay_reason=all_page_organic_allowed&video_container_type=0&video_creator_product_type=2&app_id=2392950137&live_video_guests=0.
Finally, congrats to Megan Culhane Galbraith and Shawna Kay Rodenberg. Both were included in Entropy‘s year-end list “Best of 2016: Best Online Articles and Essays.” Galbraith’s essay, “Sin Will Find You Out,” was originally published in Catapult. Shawna Kay Rodenberg’s “How Evangelical Women Found a False Savior in Trump,” was originally published in The Village Voice. Check out the whole list here: http://ow.ly/OA0x306UqD3.