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Who is Geoff Rytell, and why does he write so many letters to the editors of various newspapers and mags?

Who is Geoff Rytell, and why does he write so many letters to the editors of various newspapers and mags?—Wendy Blasko, Moore Park

The letters page is among a newspaper’s most popular departments, so Geoff Rytell just might be one of Canada’s most-read writers. He’s published about 200 letters in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and The New York Times, among other papers, and scores more in magazines (including this one). Graphomania first struck Rytell in 1998, shortly before his retirement as an English teacher for the TDSB. Weighing in on everything from the merits of colonoscopies to the minutiae of Canadian Senate appointments, he fires off roughly eight missives a month, with anywhere from three to seven making it into print. Rytell says he writes both as a hobby and as a mental exercise, believing that public debate is crucial to a healthy democracy. There’s also, of course, the euphoric high of making it into the Globe’s letters section, the Canadian epistolarian’s holy grail.

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