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|4 January 1980
No. Sutton, NH
If Howard Dinin writes, I will be
pleased to hear from him – but I won’t be
able to send him anything, not at least
for quite a while. I really believe in
keeping things around two or three
years before you send them out. I don’t
always do it, especially when a book is
due. But I have not sent anything out
since Kicking the Leaves, and I probably
won’t for another six months or perhaps
twelve months. I have things that are
probably finished. Well, they’re probably
not, really – but they might as well be.
They haven’t yet gone through the Ordeal
by Friendship, wherein I send them to all
my friends who lacerate them. I’m about to
start doing that, with a few of them.
But I have thought dimly of sending
some things out this spring but I think I
probably won’t until next autumn. And
then I have a list of magazines that I
promised to send things to. Therefore, it
will be a while. But I will probably make
it eventually, if I live long enough, and
I look forward to it. I also look forward
to seeing you guys next week. Terrific.
I think what you’re doing with the book is
sensible. …Though you know what I hope.
Best as ever,
A note from McNair about this letter: Howard Dinin is a friend who wanted me to ask Don for poems to publish in his new magazine, a start-up called The Boston Monthly. Don is responding to my phone call about it.