Readers respond: How far do we go with empathy?

The attention he deserves 

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the Oct. 31 Weekly magazine to see “How this poet stands up to misunderstanding,” describing the work of Raymond Antrobus. Too often the work of talented disabled poets is either ignored in mainstream publications or relegated to some “inspirational corner” rather than being given the serious consideration it deserves. I genuinely appreciate the writer’s attempt to provide readers with a detailed introduction to his poetry, background, and accomplishments.

Michael Northen
Pennsauken, New Jersey

Advice well taken

Thank you for your lovely tribute to John Gould in the Oct. 17 Weekly magazine. I enjoyed Mr. Gould’s warm, witty, and engaging writing for many years. As a teenager and aspiring writer, I wrote Mr. Gould a letter expressing appreciation for his writing and asking some questions about writing and publishing. I received his response in a business reply envelope he had recycled by covering the business address with magazine subscription stamps. His type-written note was as humorous and practical as the envelope that contained it. For example, he advised that if I were to write an article on how to diaper a baby, I shouldn’t submit it to “Popular Mechanics.” In other words: Know your audience. I followed his advice, and it wasn’t long afterward that I did get my first piece published – a story about neighborhood baseball games when I was a kid – in a magazine devoted to tales of nostalgia. I’ll always cherish Mr. Gould’s writing as well as his personal note of encouragement, which I have kept. 

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