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August Poetry Postcard Thanks!

A special THANKS to Brendan McBreen with the Striped Water Poets for organizing this year’s August Poetry Postcard Festival! According to his post, 160 people signed up to participate this year, with 16 from outside the US (Canada, UK, India, Singapore, South Korea, Ireland, Germany, and Tasmania Australia).

I was eager to get the mail each day and pleased to have received some really beautiful poems as well as postcards from all over the US and two from Germany. In all, I received 23 postcards and a few more may still find their way here.

I honestly enjoyed every poem I read. We are asked to dash these off and not revise or rewrite them, and that has some wary about participating. Linda H. from Germany noted on her card, “I hate sending rough drafts, but I just have enough time to write one each day and not revise. Still, it gets me writing again and this postcard project is fun.” And the poem she sent me, “Words,” complete with a scribble or two, was brilliant. She’s right: it can be unnerving. At the same time, taking the risk gets us writing, not worrying about a poem being “good,” and sharing our writing with others with no fear of negative feedback.

I’d love to mention all the poems I received, but here are just a few:

Nonie Sharpe of Port Angeles, seeing where I lived, wrote a poem about Michigan, noting “Memories of our Ann Arbor days.”

From Phillip Brown: “Colors and verbs were selected from a list and paired at random to serve as a starting point (inspiration) for the poems in this project.” Great idea! The poem he wrote for me was inspired by “lavender” and “flinch.”

Catherine Giodano created a found poetry piece from newsprint and regularly blogs such work here.

Emma Bolden created her own intricately detailed pen/ink drawings for the postcards. Beautiful.

All of the cards were uplifting to receive and fun to read, re-read, share out loud with others, and use to inspire my own writing.

This is the fifth year I’ve participated to the end: I did complete all 32 poems (we were asked to take an extra participant). This August Poetry Postcard Festival really fires me up each year. It gets me actively engaged in thinking “poetry” throughout my day as I look for what I might pen to a card when I have a moment, or forces me to just sit and write to get it done and in the mail.

When the month is over, that last card sent, I feel a bit sad. I try to carry on the motivation to keep writing and reading poetry regularly, but as the year wears on, I find other activities taking precedence. I use this postcard festival as a way to ‘re-center’ the importance of poetry in my life and look forward to August each year to help me do this.

I hope Brendan (or someone) will generously take the time to organize this next year. And I hope at least 30 others feel the same way and sign on to participate. I certainly do appreciate it.

Spread the word!