"The idea of communication or community pervades everything I've written". So concluded the poet David Ignatow - from his perspective as a septuagenarian - in a 1985 letter to his literary executor, Roy Harvey Pearce. For this poet, staying in touch with his colleagues and editors through written correspondence amounted to an affirmation of his own existence. Spanning nearly four-and-a-half decades of communication, a collection of David Ignatow's letters has now been compiled and edited by poet and critic Gary Pacernick, one of Ignatow's recent correspondents. Pacernick's compilation, "Talking Together", traces the poet's career from his youthful stance as a working-man-poet, through his gradual midlife recognition by his fellow artists as a voice of distinction, and on through his establishment as an important contemporary poet. Written for the most part at post-breakfast sittings and addressed with remarkable regularity to such well-known recipients as William Carlos Williams and Ralph J. Mills, Jr, the letters demonstrate, for Ignatow, an otherwise unseen range of human emotion, adding an important new dimension to his published work. With their straightforward portraits of the commonplace, the poems of David Ignatow can be deceptively simple. If his harshest critics have failed to discern the underlying complexity of his work, then Pacernick's compilation does much to reveal the poet's intricate but controlled thought processes, unravelling through a series of letters that are admirable in their own right for their unimpeded flow and cadence. By attempting to create a community of writers with whom he shares the details and nuances of his existence, Ignatow has survived in an indifferent, if not hostile, environment. The letters show the private man, the writer, in communication with other writers, fighting against loneliness, frustration, jealousy, and rage, through the form of sharing and sustenance that these letters become. In addition, the letters provide an intimate portrait of the poet's career from his first attempts at recognition to later success. The reader shares Ignatow's thoughts, feelings, and insights about his own poetry and the poetry and criticism of his contemporaries, as well as his views on such major American writers as Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson, Stevens, Williams, Eliot, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway. He also has fascinating things to say about the art and craft of poetry. Although there is much to learn here about literary culture as well as what some refer to as "po-biz" - the poetry business - the letters have a deeper level that is concerned with the emotional and spiritual life of the artist. While never hiding his doubts, fears, and frustrations, Ignatow is revealed to us as a person with a consuming interest in seeking the truth in life and literature.