Today, I’ve got letters on my mind; and by letters, I mean real mail. Just as I love to read actual books, I also love sending and receiving actual mail. This being the case, I’ve decided to sign up for The Rumpus‘s “Letters in the Mail” service, where authors send subscribers a letter a few times a month–more on this in a moment.
I’ve only recently discovered The Rumpus, but I’m excited to know it better. According to its website, it is
…an online magazine focused on culture, as opposed to “pop culture.” Pop culture can be hard to define and the term means different things to different people. Basically, we’re not opposed to things that are popular, but we have no interest in “art” created by marketing executives. And we have no interest in derivative art, like images of famous people made from shoelaces or Star Wars characters in funny wigs….
The Rumpus is not worried about being the first to break the news. We care about good writing, and we’ll publish essays just because the writing is good. And we won’t run a well crafted meditation alongside an actor’s opinion of the war in Iraq.
Are you as taken with this notion as I am? The Letters in the Mail service is billed in this manner, which requires no further explanation as to why I have to give it a try:
Almost every week, three to four times a month, you’ll receive a letter, in the mail. In the first three months letters went out from Stephen Elliott, Margaret Cho, Marie Calloway, Dean Haspeil, Lorelei Lee, Matthew Specktor, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender, Padma Viswanathan, Sari Botton, and Matthew Zapruder. Some of the letters were typed, others handwritten. Some included illustrations, one was a comic, all were signed. We then photo-copy the letter and send it to you.
Future letter writers will include Dave Eggers, Tao Lin, Janet Fitch, Nick Flynn, Lidia Yuknavitch, Cheryl Strayed, Marc Maron, Elissa Schappel, Wendy MacNaughton, Emily Gould, MariNaomi, and Jonathan Ames. Think of it as the letters you used to get from your creative friends, before this whole internet/email thing. Most of the letters will include return addresses (at the author’s discretion) in case you want to write the author back.
It may be weird or a novelty that loses its charm, but I somehow doubt that will be the case–talented writers creating a unique piece without restriction rarely disappoint. I’ll be sure to update you on my letters. If you want a letter of your own, click here to sign up.
And since I’m talking about letters, I’ll just mention my two favorite lines of cards:
Red Cap Cards
(my favorite Chicago artist)