Reaching Out


I’ve been inspired by many wonderful contemporary poets, some only in the first stages of their careers–like me. I recently contacted many of them, along with some whose careers are established. To my surprise, everyone replied! Some were humbled by my note and all were delighted to hear I enjoyed their work. Both Eric Torgersen (author of the poem “Not Literature” in Pleiades, among many other works) and Joe Weil (whose Mar. 21 publication with Boston Review, “My Mother Reading in the Land of the Dead,” first compelled me to initiate contact with these writers) expressed relief that someone had read their poems. More partial to readings than publications, Joe said, “I like direct contact with an audience, and publication is often like putting a message in a bottle. You have no idea how the work is being received.”

I often wonder if anyone sees what I have published. I want to belong to a community of writers, but I have the problem Eric mentioned in his reply: “If you live in a somewhat out of the way place, it’s hard to sense that anybody out there is reading these things we put out.” I write for our local newspaper, and often get complimentary notes from loyal readers. With a limited readership, though, I want to reach a larger audience. I hope to impact fellow writers the way they have influenced me. In short, if you’ve read something I’ve written and either loved or hated it, please contact me. No writer wants to place their work in a bottle and sail it off to some unknown land without discovering who it actually reached. So let me know you’re out there reading away, and tell me about your journey of toil and creation.

~ Jennifer


2 responses »

  1. Reading your post was a breathe of fresh air. I’m a writer myself who is not yet published but I’m trying to hone my own in the literary industry. I feel alone at times because the people around me are not writers or readers for that matter, so I have to reach out to people like myself via the internet, which sometimes feel so impersonal. It’s good to know that famous writers actually respond to their readers who contact them. It gives me hope that getting to their level is not so unreachable at all.

    • Thank you for your comment, Natesha! As I read all of the established writers’ responses, that was the one thing that impressed me the most. They were all very humbled–grateful even–by my note. I hope to reach out to many more in the weeks to come. And I want to keep in touch with friends like you who are in the beginning stages of their journey! I’ve stopped by your webpage, “From Unemployment to Writer,” and I’ll come back often to stay up to date with you. Thanks again, for contacting me! ~ Jennifer

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