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2012 August Poetry Postcard Festival

The annual August Poetry Postcard Fest is just around the corner, and NOW is the time to sign up!

APP was started in 2007 by Paul Nelson along with Lana Hechtman Ayers; this year Brendan McBreen is coordinating the project. I have personally been participating in this project for the past several years and look forward to it each year. [Check out Peace, Love, Unity blog where Jessica posted a collection of cards from 2010.]

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up (see below).
  • Gather 30 postcards from book stores, thrift shops, online, drug stores, antique shops, museums, gift shops…or make your own.
  • Buy some stamps. Mailed to U.S. addresses, standard postcards (up to 4-1/4″ x 6″) currently take 32-cent stamps; oversize/undersized cards take 45-cent stamps. (This is an international project, so some cards may require additional postage and extra delivery time.)
  • Receive (by e-mail) your list of 31 names (including your own) and addresses of participating poets.
  • Each day in August (best to start the last week of July to allow for delivery time), write an original poem on a postcard and send it to one person on the list, starting with the name that follows yours on the list and moving through the successive names until you’ve sent all your cards.
  • This is a commitment, so if you sign up, do send poetry postcards.

To sign up, send an e-mail to stripedwaterpoets at gmail dot com

Use “August Postcard Poetry” as the subject line and include your name, complete mailing address and e-mail address. Brendan will reply to let you know he’s gotten you added and then will send the list within the next couple weeks.

To learn more, read this blog post by Paul Nelson and visit the August Poetry Postcard website where you can read past years’ posts for additional info.

I (as will others) will admit that I didn’t always get a card a day in the mail; some days I wrote several to catch up, and some days I wrote several in advance just because I felt ‘in the groove.’ Regardless, I have always been able to send all 31 cards, which in and of itself feels great. I got new ideas for writing, explored some new forms that ‘came to me’ in the moment (as the effort is meant to be organic, not pre-planned poems), and in return, have always been inspired-to-awed by the work I’ve received (occasionally from “famous” poets who I was thrilled to see participating, but also from anonymous poets whose work resonated with me). And call me old school, but I still love to get mail, especially postcards.

Really: jump into this one folks! There are much worse commitments you could make than to write a poem a day for a month (like Facebooking every day, how many times a day…). This is a challenge, but a fun one with its own unique rewards.

[Guidelines adapted from The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest blog post here.]

Spread the word!