January 20, 2012

Rumpus announces pen pal club with Eggers, Ames, Cho and others


My all-too-brief correspondence with JFran started and ended with this postcard. (He was wise enough to omit a return address.)

Technology be damned! Here’s something that will connect you to one of your favorite authors, give the USPS something to do, and allow your screen-weary eyes a rest.

Remember when you were a kid and getting mail was actually fun? Well, the folks at The Rumpus do, too. With “Letters in the Mail” you can sign up to receive a weekly letter from the likes of Dave Eggers, Jonathan Ames, Margaret Cho, and more! (If you’re willing to pay the $5 a month, that is.)

No, return addresses aren’t guaranteed and the letters aren’t personalized (given the volume of interest in the program, how could they be?), but if you’ve been wondering what’s on former Melville House author Tao Lin‘s mind, for instance, then this is your chance to find out.

“Think of it as the letters you used to get from your creative friends, before this whole internet/email thing,” says Rumpus editor and author Stephen Elliot.

From Saul Bellow to Marilyn Monroe to Ted Hughes and Allen Ginsberg, there has been a real glut of books to highlight and romanticize letter-based correspondences lately. In fifty years, will your letter be immortalized, too? There’s only one way to find out …