Write to the River — Summer 2020 love letters to the river

Local artist Susan Armington wove these love letters into a large painting called "Dreamsongs: the Mississippi Within Us" for our fall gala, excerpted above. The full painting, which you can see at the bottom of this page, now hangs in FMR's office.

This summer, we did something a little different than our usual Write to the River call for photo-inspired prose and poetry. We asked you to literally write love letters of memories or gratitude to the river. The heartfelt letters we received reflect deep appreciation for how the river continually gives — holding our past, inspiring our future, providing a sense of belonging and always nudging us to connect more.

Your love letters are now in the hands of local artist Susan Armington who will weave them into a river painting. At our fall storytelling gala on October 1, we'll unveil her final piece and let you know how to get your hands on a print of this beautiful collaboration.

Here's a selection of what you sent us.

Love letters to the river

From Alexis Lipstein:

Love letter

From Anna Wieser:

Love letter

Barb Geiger:


From David Wee:

From Donna Marie Todd:

Donna Marie Todd letter

From Duncan Steele Storlie:

Love letter

From Frances Browner:

Frances Browner love letter

From Gwyn Calvetti:

Gwyn Calvetti letter

From Jessica Rydeen:

love letter

From Jim Hudak:

Love letter

From Jim Landwehr:

Love letter

From Judy Enroth:

Love letter

From Kathryn Ganfield:

Love letter

From Lisa Maren Thompson:

Love letter

From Michael Anderson: His friend Chris Stangl's words

Love letter

From Nancy L. Purington:

Love letter

From Sarah Risser:

Love letter

From Timothy R. Tirrell:

Love letter

The full painting

Here's Susan Armington's full painting, "Dreamsongs: the Mississippi Within Us."

River painting

Write to the River

Write to the River is a creative writing project inspiring artistic engagement with our river environment. Each season, we invite you to share an original poem or short prose response to images along the Upper Mississippi River.

Get our next seasonal photo prompt and call for creative writing submissions in upcoming issues of our e-newsletter Mississippi Messages or here.

Read past editions.