In the late 70's an editor named Dan Rottenberg took over a Philadelphia weekly called the Welcomat and converted it into a unique publication: a newspaper that published opinion pieces instead of news. Most of the pieces in the Welcomat dealt with current social issues, but many of them discussed personal subjects and general topics. In effect, Rottenberg had created a local market for an old, almost defunct form-- the personal essay. The first four items in this section were written for the Welcomat. The fifth appeared in a Philadelphia monthly called Seven Arts


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