Padma Viswanathan and Matthew Specktor. Sari Botton's essay about participating in it talks about her letter writing friendship with a guy called David. It reminded me a little about the one I have with my friend R—what's encapsulated in our correspondence is how we became ourselves and how we become over and over. It's a maddening record but I love it.
As you may remember, I have a problem with poetry. I don't read it. When Adrienne Rich died many of the people that I respect were expressing their feelings of loss and I've got to say that every single excerpt of Rich's poetry bled with truth and made me want to read more. Here is a lovely illustration of some Rich lines by Lisa Congdon.
Several people have asked me over the years what comics got me into the genre. At 15 I was volunteering at a thrift store on South Street to fulfill the delightfully named "community service" requirement of public schooling in Philly. One day I was working in the basement in the book section and came across a comics anthology about abortion. I stopped working and read it through. I had never really experienced that kind of storytelling before--angry, smart, feminist and utterly human. Each story looked different and I could understand each one. For almost 16 years I've been unable to remember the title and all my googling was in vain until moments ago. The book: Choices: a pro-choice benefit comic anthology for the National Organization for Women. The extreme ugliness of the cover was instantly identifiable. Click the link to see all the heavy hitters that contributed work.