The Letter Project

March 13, 2012


Filed under: Miscellaneous — Theresa Williams @ 7:57 pm

Apparently, most anything can be found at Wikihow”  HOW TO WRITE AN EPISTOLARY NARRATIVE :   

from Wikihow:

An epistolary narrative is a narrative inside a letter, serving the purpose of telling a story from the perspective of that character. It is a story that has not yet been told, and therefore it fills a gap or focuses on an undeveloped element in the existing narrative of the original text. The story dominates the letter: the character’s main purpose in writing is to tell this story to the recipient (a friend, relative or another character).


  1. Include all the structural features of an actual letter: address, date, salutation, etc.
  • 2

    Open the letter in the present tense and deal with the character’s current emotions and life.

  • 3

    Continue the narrative in past tense, as it is a story of something that has already happened.

  • 4

    Reveal aspects of the character’s ideology- their beliefs, attitudes and values.

  • 5

    Develop relationships with other characters through experiences they shared. You can include other characters that appear in the original text or create additional ones to suit your purposes. Write about bonds, rifts, conflicts or similarities or differences in ideologies.

  • 6

    Show how the character responded emotionally to the shared experiences.

  • 7

    Close the letter in the present tense.

March 8, 2012


Filed under: Miscellaneous — Theresa Williams @ 1:19 am

I am posting a few epistolary poems I found at Poets Online:

Dear Rimbaud,

I am sitting in a square filled with yellow wrought iron chairs.
I am a young man trying to grow a beard
and drinking a too-early glass of wine.
I am twirling the ribbon bookmarker in a volume of your poems
and trying to pull the book closer to me.
I bought the book as a birthday present to myself,
but the poems, even translated into my English,
are in some language I cannot understand.
This I recalled

when I took down the book this morning.
I looked at the still crisp binding,
the pages yellowing at the edges, and still
La blanche Ophélia flotte comme un grand lys,
waiting for me to catch her, hold her,
understand her in some new way.

 Charles Michaels


To K.M. -a Young Poet

I give you all the voices of the past
so that you might find your own.
I take your desire to be published
and give you one to be heard.
I ask that you tune your ear to music
and ignore those who never hear it.
I give you the rights to write badly
and still love your words,
to not want to revise at all,
and to love the poems that are rejected.
I give you the courage to share your work,
the sense to know where criticism comes from,
and I take your wish to be famous.
I ask you to buy books of poetry, even out of charity.
Go to readings and listen when no one else does.
Turn your favorite poet’s books cover forward on the shelf.
Ask the store to order copies of something that’s missing.
Get someone else to read poetry with you.
Get someone else to listen to you read your poetry.
Read poems aloud, even if you are alone.
Write something every day, even if it is one good line.
Tell any poet you can what you like about their words.
Throw nothing away, write late into the night,
fall asleep reading, awaken with a new line running through you
like an electric current wanting to be tapped.

 Ken Ronkowitz


Dr. Grande — Thanks for the Lift

My heart made a fist
   when you read the others’ poems.
Blood squeezed out
   choking my breath
with chippy coughs.
I felt my insides flush
   and vowed to quit the class.


I could never write like that.


You led me through
   a labyrinth of words
where I banged against stone walls
stumbled over metaphor and rhyme
stalled in dark corners
   crying out for light —
light you freely gave.


My heart made a fist
   when you read my poem.
You read it once again,
 looked at the class and said,
   “Don’t you wish that you
could write like that?”

Cherise Wyneken



Filed under: Miscellaneous — Theresa Williams @ 12:40 am
Tags: ,

It seems entirely appropriate to post this poem by Emily Dickinson here.

Dear March – Come in – (1320)  
by Emily Dickinson
Dear March - Come in -	
How glad I am -
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -	
You must have walked -
How out of Breath you are -	
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
Did you leave Nature well -	
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me -
I have so much to tell -

I got your Letter, and the Birds -	
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
I declare - how Red their Faces grew -	        
But March, forgive me -	
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue -	
There was no Purple suitable -	
You took it all with you -	        

Who knocks? That April -
Lock the Door -
I will not be pursued -
He stayed away a Year to call	
When I am occupied -	        
But trifles look so trivial	
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise	
And Praise as mere as Blame -

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