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In our Winter 2014 issue Alicia Ostriker curated a poetry portfolio on Women and the Global Imagination, and we were so struck by its contents that we wanted to keep the dialog surronding this theme going on our blog. In her essay, Nancy Jooyoun Kim explores the experience of being a writer who is often derided by peers for not being universal enough. We hope you enjoy reading. To read more on this theme, visit our blog and buy or Winter 2014 issue (print or ebook).
July 7, 1983, in Lincoln was a scorcher. Temperatures reached 91° Fahrenheit; the month would go on to reach a high of 106°. But while the weather was warm, the political atmosphere was frigid: The United States and the Soviet Union were locked in the middle of the Cold War. Tensions on both sides were incredibly high and the drastic seemed possible. Within this climate, ten-year-old Samantha Smith wrote a letter to the Soviet Union's newly appointed leader, Yuri Andropov, seeking to understand the conflict. Her letter read:
Dear Mr. Andropov,