Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gratitude & Inspiration

These are two unsolicited testimonials that came to me recently. I just received Ken's today, and the correspondence from Carlos near the end of last year. I wanted to share these with you. We do not always know the long term influences of our work. This kind of feedback means a lot to me.

If you have done any kind of creative or teaching work, you may have had similar experiences. Sometimes we do not discover these words of appreciation until much later. Sometimes never. I am grateful to have received them now.

Hi Dan-

I took your creative writing class at the Spruill Center a couple of times probably about 10 years ago. I am certain you do not remember me. I still remember a story "Cuppa Joe" I was particularly proud of. It was a great experience, and actually ended up with a story published in the lit mag you were publishing at the time. Anyway, on one of my final classes, you returned my story with a very inspiring prediction that I would be a fine writer some day. I have remembered that to this date, so thanks.

Business world and other responsibilities have gotten in the way since, and I haven't been able to write as much as I like. Lately, I have been satisfying my writing urge by working on a number of screenplays and television proposals. I recently won a screenwriting competition (see the attached press release if you have a moment), and the award has led to pitch meetings set up with several production companies in the next few weeks.

It's probably not exactly what you envisioned for your writing students, but it feels like a bit of success to me, and I want to thank you for the encouragement so many years ago. In this hectic world, it's important to reach out and thank the people who had input in your journey, isn't it?

From the website, it looks like you have added many new exciting ventures and skills to your cv. I wish you continued successes!

Ken Lemm

And one other:

Hi Dan --

I have a book of poetry on my shelf by a Dan Liss called "Flashing" from 1973. Are you the author?

Carlos Cumpian

Hi Carlos,

Yes, I am the author. Why do you ask?

I honestly never thought I would hear from anyone about that book again at this late date. Did you buy one way back then?

How did you even find an email address for me? The Internet sure is full of surprises.


Good gawd man with this I can honestly say I was 20 when I bought it on Lincoln Aveune or Barbara's Books on Wells street, really never heard you read but I must have reread various poems a dozen times, I am very nostalgic about that part of my life and the city I still live in Chicago, in fact I am a published poet with three books first in 1990 was Coyote Sun now in its 4th printing, Latino Rainbow poems about Hispanic Achviement 1994 Children's Press, and my favorite Armadillo Charm 1996 Tia Chucha Press with two printings second in 1999.

The photos made me want to keep the book as well, I am an English teacher by profession I've taught college and high school (still doing it). Having this pixel exchange is great, I hope you are still writing and dreaming artistically with results. Dan, who knows how our words influence others? If you are ever in Chicago I would like to do an interview for the cyberspace newsletter Letter EX Chicago's poetry newsletter maybe I'll get the editor, C.J., to do a FLASHING flashback. Did you ever hear the Puerto Rican poet David Hernandez from back in the day? He is still kicking with the spoken word. Well take care and have a happy and strange new year fellow poet.


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