I can’t recommend this activity highly enough! I did it last year, and was amazed at being able to write 31 poems (maybe not all sent on time, but that was fine – I was getting postcards well into September and October!), as well as receive many, many wonderful poems. The Perennial Project will also keep you writing year-round and becoming the biggest postcard junkie!
Call For 2009 August Poetry Postcard Fest Participants
Get yourself at least 31 postcards. These can be found at book stores, thrift shops, online, drug stores, antique shops, museums, gift shops. (You’ll be amazed at how quickly you become a postcard addict.)
On or about July 27th, write an original poem right on a postcard and mail it to the person on the list below your name. (If you are at the very bottom, send a card to the name at the top.) And please WRITE LEGIBLY!
Starting on August 1st, ideally in response to a card YOU receive, keep writing a poem a day on a postcard and mailing it to successive folks on the list until you’ve sent out 31 postcards. Of course you can keep going and send as many as you like but we ask you to commit to at least 31 (a month’s worth).
What to write? Something that relates to your sense of “place” however you interpret that, something about how you relate to the postcard image, what you see out the window, what you’re reading, using a phrase/topic/or image from a card that you got, a dream you had that morning, or an image from it, etc. Like “real” postcards, get to something of the “here and now” when you write.
Do write original poems for the project. Taking old poems and using them is not what we have in mind. These cards are going to an eager audience of one, so there’s no need to agonize. That’s what’s unique about this experience. Rather than submitting poems for possible rejection, you are sending your words to a ready-made and excited audience awaiting your poems in their mailboxes. Everyone loves getting postcards. And postcards with poems, all the better.
Once you start receiving postcard poems in the mail, you’ll be able to respond to the poems and imagery with postcard poems or your own. That will keep your poems fresh and flowing. Be sure to check postage for cards going abroad. The Postcard Graveyard is a very sad place.
That’s all there it to it. It’s that fun and that easy.
To check out what’s been done before, visit the blog [where you’ll also see the Perennial Poetry Postcard List of folks who try to write a postcard poem at least once a week regardless of receiving in order to keep connections flowing], Paul Nelson’s website or their Facebook group.
To get started, click here.