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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Monday, November 26, 2007

Recommendation Letter: A Template

by Ethan Bernard

Dear _________,

I have had the pleasure of knowing Insert Name Here for X Years/Months/Days/Brief E-mail Correspondence, and I can say with conviction that he/she possesses a unique talent. Unique talent and rare gifts. Yes, Insert Name Here has these in abundance. However, it should be noted that he/she wields these as an elderly man wields a sword, modestly. Not to say that Insert Name Here does not enjoy extraordinary confidence, of the variety shared by dictators (benevolent ones) or someone undergoing a manic episode. Insert Name Here, a modest dictator, benevolently talented.

I recall a specific occasion when Insert Name Here utilized a special quality in a rarely gifted way. Luckily, this is just what I imagine you’re looking for. It is fortuitous for a specially-gifted unique rarity to find its way to an institution such as yours.

Let me speak for a moment about character. Very strong.

That’s about all I have to say on this matter. Insert Your Name Here has actually written this entire document, though I have requested to edit it, so as to show my position of authority. “Specially-gifted unique rarity,” that’s all me. A shame really that someone in my position would have to write letters of recommendation. All part of the circle of life, to quote the film, if I may.

I thought forcing Insert Your Name Here to write this would impede his/her efforts. No such luck. There’s some perseverance. It’s not like I don’t want you to accept Insert Name Here. Rather, I want it in the same way I desire world peace or a perfect bowling score: vaguely. Therefore, it is with a genuine sense of indifference that I request you grant him/her admission/acceptance/parole.


Ethan Bernard lives in Queens and holds an M.F.A. from N.Y.U. His work has appeared or is forthcoming at such journals as Word Riot, Pindeldyboz and Boston Literary Magazine.