Familiar Letters is a blog devoted to short exercises in practical criticism. What would a “practical” criticism mean? Is literary and critical theory broadly still relevant? Can it ever be of any use, at all? These are the questions we’re interested in exploring.

The first “Familiar Letters” were published by the English poet Edmund Spenser and his friend Gabriel Harvey in 1580. The literary letter on occasional themes is often seen as a precursor to the modern blog, so we hope they won’t mind our theft.


Joel M. Dodson

craig brewer

Craig N. Brewer

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