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Asian Romance Guide to Marriage by Correspondence

by Dani Putney

July 8, 1989

Dear Jasmin,

Greetings from the Golden

State of California your photo

and brief description compelled me

to write

I am Samuel Young, 36

years old, 5 ft. 10 inches, 145

pounds a dentist, I have a small

practice during days off I tend

my variety of fruit apple, peach,

cherry, plum I enjoy canning

and making pies my peaches

are ripening

Jasmin, I am serious

about finding a Filipina wife,

heaven knows I could use help

around the house I am interested

to hear about your nursing course

and what you admire about me

In my next letter, I promise

to answer your questions thanks

for your time young lady I hope

to have you soon



PS: Send a photo of your [fruit],

it would be so kind

October 20, 1989

Dear Carmelita,

What a pleasure it is

to write such a lovely young

lady her robe a cloud, her face

a flower

My name is Clarence

Cooper, I live in a townhouse

on the outskirts of Huntsville,

Alabama I taught high school

for 26 years, 7 as vice principal 66

years old, I live on a very adequate

retirement pension

I am in excellent physical

shape I work out 3 times a week,

never smoke, seldom drink,

the real matter of importance is

not a person’s age but the love

within his heart

My wife of 35 years died

suddenly, I wish to make a fresh

start a simple, lighthearted lady

who enjoys adventure I have

a motor home to travel around

this grand [empire]

I believe in faithfulness,

gentle lady I look forward

to having your pleasure soon



October 22, 1989

Dear Annabelle,

You may be surprised

to receive this unsolicited letter

from America I saw a photo

and a brief description you seem

like my type of lady

I will be honest, I am very

interested in finding a Filipina

lifetime partner my name is Bob

Johnson, friends call me Skip 42,

divorced, no children I work

as a forklift operator for a major oil

company in Anchorage respectable,

and I earn a good living

On Friday and Saturday

evenings, I drum with a small

rock band I also enjoy hunting

and fishing

You may have heard Alaska

is a cold, deserted place I could

hardly ask for more beauty

or [property] I surely have no

trouble staying warm in my three-

bedroom home

A letter from you would be

magnificent please tell me about

your life goals, and describe what you

do in a typical day I would be

very happy to take time with a recent

photo of yourself




Dear Leticia,

Thanks for the letter

and photo you seem nice --

unfortunately, it is clear

our interests differ I want

a young lady

Best wishes,

James Olgivy

PS: I decided to return your

[face], give it to another man

[1] Unless bracketed, the words in this poem are taken from sample letters included in Michael and Chantal Donahue’s Asian Romance Guide to Marriage by Correspondence (1989). Some phrasing has been reformulated.

photo by Jansel Ferma


Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, and neurodivergent poet originally from Sacramento, California. Their debut full-length poetry collection, Salamat sa Intersectionality, is out from Okay Donkey Press. You can find Dani's poetry in outlets such as #EnbyLife, Cosmonauts Avenue, Empty Mirror, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and Thin Air Magazine, among others. Presently a PhD student at Oklahoma State University, they permanently reside among cowboys in the Nevada desert.

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