“I write myself a letter / instead of writing you,” the musician Arthur Russell wrote. What kinds of writing does the epistolary—writing a poem using the device of a letter—make possible? How does the epistolary poem capture or communicate the space it traverses between sender and addressee? How do the fictions of distance, elapsed time, or intimacy between the sender and the addressee change what’s possible for a poem to say—or how it’s possible for a poem to refuse to explain itself? We’ll use this Dis/Courses session to explore the curious permissiveness of the letter. We’ll read work in or about the epistolary by Ovid, Catullus, Bernadette Mayer, Sam D’Allesandro, Dodie Bellamy, John Keene and Shiv Kotecha, and we’ll practice writing epistolary poems—to ourselves, to each other, and to recipients dead or imaginary.