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My friend, Tony, was included in a recent email that I signed with the valediction:


Tony’s response:

I must say the “Warmly, Matt” doesn’t seem like you.  

He’s right.

Joan Acocella of The New Yorker recently wrote a piece on the various valedictions and said that she never uses “Warmly” because it sounds too fussy.

“Best” seems to be fairly popular these days, if a valediction is used at all.

I see “Cheers” a lot, too, but it always makes me laugh.

I use “Warmly” in honor of my former professor and poet, Hugh Ogden, who I have written about before and who tragically passed away in 2007. Hugh wrote letters to me about my poetry and signed them using “Warmly” and I adored it because warmly captured his spirit perfectly.


When he died, I decided to begin using “Warmly” in remembrance of him. And it’s worked. Every time I type or write that word at the end of a letter or email, I think of him.

I explained this to Tony. His response:

Nice gesture on the warmly but it isn’t the you I know. Perhaps the you that you aspire to be.

Aspiring to be as beloved and brilliant as Hugh Ogden would be foolish, but I like the sentiment.

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