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The Lost Art of Writing Letters

1/25/14 21:30

I’m thinking of Andy Rooney at this moment since over the last few months, I have sent out a few letters to writers and none responded.  Why not?  What happened to the art of writing a letter?  Are we too wrapped up in the email, Twitters and Face Books, blogs, instant grams, and anything else which are forms of communication, but let’s be honest - most are displays or reports of our lives.  This is different.  Writing and sending a letter through the post office takes time and patience.  I think of years ago when I’d write to Charles Bukowski or William S. Burroughs, James Purdy, Tess Gallagher and all wrote back.  There were the baseball players like Bobby Richardson, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams.  They wrote back.  There was the typical waiting period after sending a letter.  It may take a couple of weeks, maybe three…at most.   But each time I would receive a letter or a card back.  The idea is to write a letter of appreciation for their work and perhaps ask for some advice or if they would consider reading some of my writing.  The response I received was a gesture of their gratefulness since I took the time to write a letter.  All of the writers I mentioned said I could send some of my work, and I received their insight.  Charles Bukowski edited one of my poems since he was too hung over to write.  These letters were a distant connection, but we met through our words and our pens.  Sure, it takes time for someone to write the letter and print it, fold the paper, place a stamp on it and write the address on the outside.  What has happened to the intimate moments when we can feel the words under our eyes and read the letter more times than just deleting it?  Filing it?  What has happened?  Are we impulsive and inpatient?  I can agree to certain correspondence which an email will suffice especially for business and to check in, but a thank you letter in recognition for a writer’s work or an artist and I’m including sports stars - should not be an email.  So, I will keep on writing and hope a good person out there would take the time and respond.  There may come a time when writing a letter will become antiquated and I guess it has, but I hope we don’t forget how to fill out an envelope and write a letter.  Perhaps letter writing will return like the sound of music on an LP which sounds richer and increased the sales of the album.  Maybe we can go back and write letters?  Last week I sent two letters.  Maybe some of those I wrote to… misplace my letters since the weeks have turned into months; I’m still waiting for Jim Harrison, Russell Baker, Harvey Mackay, and President Carter to respond…and you too Stephen King.  My grandmother told us, patience is a virtue, seldom found in a woman and never found in a man.  I’m waiting Grand Ma…still waiting….Mr. Harrison reads...


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  1. Thank you President Carter for your response and signed photograph for Isabella

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