the belated wrap
December 2, 2015
Though early December seems a trifle late to be doing the wrap-up on the 2015 August Poetry Postcard Fest, here it is, better overdue than never.
The big change this year was that Paul Nelson, who masterfully coordinates the project, decided to implement a $10 participation fee. While this inspired a certain amount of whining initially, it had the overall effect of almost completely eliminating the people who were not serious about participating. In past years, the biggest disappointment has been how many people signed up but never mailed any cards. (Ideally, each participant sends/receives a postcard to/from each person on a list of 31, self sometimes, but not always, excepted.) This year, the deadbeat list was short and many of the non-receipts could be written off to lost-in-the-mail.
While not in its first year, the August Poetry Postcard Fest group on Facebook was more active than ever. One of the added benefits of the group was identifying poets whose names did not appear (by oversight, intent or damage in the mail) on the cards they sent.
About the project, Paul says, “The quality of the writing, of the images and of the kind notes has set a new water mark for the fest for me. I can’t begin to articulate how humbled am I by all the participants, by the liveliness of this here PCFB [Facebook] page and by how many people are chipping in to take this project to the next level… Abrazos!” Here is Paul Nelson’s Highlights from 2015 and his 2015 Afterword.
A number of participants posted their own recaps, some including images and text from their postcards. Here is a sampling (most date from September, so you may have to scroll back): Barbara Jean Sunshine Walsh | Courtney LeBlanc | Elizabeth Woods | Gabriel Cleveland | Kristin Cleage Williams | Margo Jodyne Dills | Mary Beth Frezon | Ruby Kane | S.E. Ingraham | Taffe Cortinas Dongham.
An unexpected bonus to the 2015 Fest has been the arrival of additional postcards well into November. A number of postcarders committed themselves to sending a card to each of the participants on this year’s list — an ambitious undertaking, but that adds up to 208 draft poems that are ready for reworking!
In all, it was a fine month of poetry. Thanks to Paul and all.
2016 will mark the 10th August Poetry Postcard Fest and the countdown clock is already running. See more on the August POetry POstcard Fest page.