A Letter from Poet Charles Flowers

Charles Flowers

Dear Friend of Fishouse,
When Camille Dungy asked me to submit my poems for From the Fishouse, I was ecstatic. It had been around a few years, and I knew some of the featured poets personally but I was impressed with Camille and Matt O’Donnell’s vision for the site, and what it could mean for emerging poets.
Fishouse poets know what a thrill it is when they receive the recorder from Matt, with the instructions and guidelines for recording their poems and comments. And when Matt announces that new recordings are posted on the site, you know how exciting it is to discover new poets.
With 200 poets currently featured on the site and over 200 more waiting in the “recommended” queue, From the Fishouse is the leading, most comprehensive collection of emerging poets in America. With the website being adopted by educators, its readings all over the country, and its recent print anthology, From the Fishouse has reached a new level of success, thanks to its bold, simple mission, talented contributors, and a very hard-working director.
This winter, the board and Matt will be meeting to develop a long range plan for the organization, and I’m sure there will be amazing ideas to emerge, and many goals to reach in the next three years.
One goal that every nonprofit faces is funding, and some of you may work in nonprofits or teach as an adjunct or struggle with your own finances every year, so you know what I’m talking about. We’re poets; we’re not rich; we don’t write to get rich. We believe in words and the power of words and the money will work itself out.
I volunteered to write this letter because I believe so strongly in the Fishouse mission and believe that we, as the benefactors of that mission, can help. If every recipient of the Fishouse newsletter were able to give or get somebody to give $30, we would raise almost $20,000!
It’s awkward to ask for money, especially from those whom the Fishouse serves, but I also believe that we, as avid fans of Fishouse, are the best ambassadors of this organization and can most easily explain why it’s important, why it’s necessary to keep emerging poets visible and heard (literally, in this case).
So I’m asking you to give $30 to keep Fishouse vibrant, to keep the list of featured poets growing and representing the best of emerging poetry.
Our goal is to raise $4,500 by December 31 – that’s 150 donations in the next 3 days!

You can make a secure online donation here through PayPal:

Or you can mail a check to:
From the Fishouse
87 Stage Road
Pittston, ME 04345
And if you have a Facebook page or a website, please send a note to your friends and family about the site, and ask them to support it. Do you need another sweater from Aunt Clara? Probably not, but she might get a real thrill about supporting the careers of young poets.
The thing about literary nonprofits is that a small amount can go a long way – we’re not asking for $1,000 gifts, we’re asking for $30 (or twice that if you can afford it), and you know exactly where your money is going and how it’s being spent: to bring more poets online, and into the classrooms, libraries, and homes of America. Seriously.
I hope you’ll join me in this cause – and if not this year, when you can afford to give back. And if you’re can’t spare the $30, ask your friends and family, tell them what you really want this holiday season: more poetry, more poets sharing their work.
Best wishes,
Charles Flowers