Jane Schapiro

"Jane’s essay, 'My First Fan Letter', highlights the ironic struggle of wanting to be in a certain position, then having no idea what to do with it. Writers innately want attention for their words, but navigating fan feedback is a surreal process. What Jane reveals about this is blunt, but beautiful, and incredibly inspiring in its awkwardness and power." — Jaime Dill, editor for Cardigan Press

What genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?

I mainly write poetry, though I do have one book of nonfiction published by a university press about a class action lawsuit. Most of my poems appear in literary journals and are geared toward adult readers. I do have one book of poems that includes photographs about a cross-country bicycle trip my sister and I took in 1976. My hope is that it might appeal to young adults who are experiencing the same kind of restlessness my sister and I both felt so many years ago. If some of them get introduced to poetry in the process, then I’ve accomplished two goals.

In what way would you say your essay in Byline Legacies is similar and/or different from this goal?

“My First Fan Letter” is quite different from my other essays and poems in that it’s much more lighthearted. I wrote it a number of years ago, and I remember having great fun writing it. Although I am a dedicated and determined writer, I can’t say that “fun” is the first adjective that comes to mind when describing the all-too-often grueling process of squeezing out words. “Absorbing” and “necessary,” yes. But fun? Not exactly. This essay was fun from beginning to end.

How can readers best support your writing career at this time?

They can visit my website, www.janeschapiro.com. They can order my books. They can review a book. They can message me. Every reader is precious and appreciated.

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