In response to the appeal described in the previous blog entry, Sam Hamill has sent the following letter:
Dear Friends, Colleagues, Compañeros:
Gray and I have been very deeply moved by your generosity and expressions of solidarity.
It is welcome news that Gray has been pronounced cancer-free and that I am in good enough shape to postpone any further angioplasty or stent implants for at least a few months. In the spring, we will put our house on the market and hope that it sells and that we can find a smaller home in Anacortes, close by doctors, hospitals, and without the burden of a mortgage.
I am still altogether capable of giving readings and lectures, but my steadily declining hearing makes it all but impossible to teach conventional writing workshops. For public conversations I often need a “hearing-ear person.” I am presently planning a weekend in Chicago in April, and will return to Vietnam (with Joiner Center colleagues) in May, and to the Joiner Center (at UMass, Boston) in June. These odd gigs and paychecks are all we have to counter exploding medical and prescription expenses. We thought we could get by on our modest pension from Copper Canyon Press and Social Security, but ever-increasing medical costs combined with skyrocketing property taxes have been devastating.
Now that we have crossed this particularly rugged mountain, I hope to resuscitate a writing (and possibly translating and editing) life. I have all of you to thank for this possibility—otherwise, Gray and I would both be wrestling with checkbooks and credit plans and the saddles they place on our wilder (healthier) imaginations.
To realize that we have such friends in the world is at once humbling and exhilarating. Our gratitude is eternal.