signups begin at midnight!

August 31, 2020

Though some people wait until August to actually write and mail their poetry postcards (and many people don’t), signups begin as soon as the current August Poetry Postcard Fest ends. Visit the POPO.cards registration page at midnight and log on to Submittable to register for 2021. There’s an active and inspiring Facebook group for participants, and of course there’s the pleasure of finding a little slice of poetry in your mailbox. Sign up and play!

late (but not too late)

August 4, 2020

Back in 2017, poet Nicole Sealey realized that she “hadn’t been doing much reading” and decided to do something about it. She challenged herself to read a book or chapbook of poetry each day for the month of August and posted her intentions on social media. Poet Dante Micheaux coined a hashtag, #TheSealeyChallenge, and the word spread. (Here’s a 2018 article in Literary Hub on why Sealey launched her ambitious challenge.)

The Sealey Challenge is now in its fourth year. It’s already August 4, so you have a bit of catching up to do, but chapbooks count, so you can do it! We’ve posted loads of recommended titles and here’s a 2019 list in Electric Lit: “31 Poets Recommend 31 Poetry Books to Read Every Day in August.”

Plus, if you happen to be participating in the August Poetry Postcard Fest, this will give you plenty of fuel for your postcard poems. Happy reading!

. . . . .
photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

last chance!

July 18, 2020

If you’ve been tempted to sign up for this year’s August Poetry Postcard Fest, today is your last opportunity. Registration ends at 11:59pm Pacific time, July 18, 2020. Paul Nelson reports record number of participants — over 500 — so much poetry will be written. It’s fun. Come play.

Dear reader,

July 6, 2020

In response to a question you didn’t ask, maybe because you’re too polite to inquire about a magpie mind, I will say yes, it is getting more challenging to find fuel to feed the furnace of daily posting during a pandemic.

Today, I started thinking about all of the plein air typewriter poets who earn a few bucks poeming on demand at festivals and farmers markets, now out of work. That line of thought led me to the wonderful oz.Typewriter, Robert Messenger’s act of love and obsession since 2011. Here you’ll find the mechanics, history, and lore of typewriters, richly illustrated and somewhat magpie-ish, too, from Canberra, Australia.

Following an oztypewriter link to Welcome to the Typosphere, I was prompted to read a recent article in The New York Times, “Snail Mail Is Getting People Through This Time.” That made me curious about the recent stamp releases from our beleaguered post office (above).

It also prompts me to remind you that there are still 12 days remaining to sign up for the August POetry POstcard Fest. It launched early this year, with plenty of postcards already exchanged, but as more people register, new groups (of 32 each) are forming and can begin sending poetry postcards as soon as they receive their list. Just another way to get through this time. (Earlier posts on PoPo Fest here.)

With thanks for your attention, Likes, and Comments, I remain your masked correspondent,
Judy

. . . . .
Voices of the Harlem Renaissance, Forever stamps, issued May 21, 2020

postcard fest update

June 4, 2020

The August POetry POstcard Fest, now in its 14th year and recently rebranded with a new logo and dedicated website (POPO.cards), is open for business. To honor stay-at-home orders and an accompanying (and continuing) need for artistic expression, Paul Nelson decided to open registration early and encourage participants to start sending postcards as soon as they received their list of names.

Each list contains 32 names — one for each day of August (or whatever month), plus oneself (who may or may not receive a card!). Paul reports that there are currently ten full groups and group 11 is filling up. Groups 1 – 10 have now received their lists and the poetry postcards are flying.

Registration will remain open until July 18, 2020, and there is now a new registration address, on Submittable.

Lots more August Poetry Postcard posts here, and much more info on popo.cards.

If you, like many of us, are feeling the need to reach out during the current crisis, the August POetry POstcard Fest has a new look, a new website, and a new, expansive calendar of possibilities.

The principle is the same:

  1. Register any time between now and July 18, 2020.
  2. Collect or make at least 31 postcards.
  3. Get some postage stamps (including international, since this is a worldwide project; current international rate is $1.20US). (In the U.S., stamps haven’t required licking for a long time, so don’t worry about that problem.)
  4. Starting on March 19, 2020, participant lists will be emailed. Your list will include 32 names and addresses, including your own (which you should, of course, check for correctness).
  5. Once you get your list (or whenever you want), start writing original poems each day, directly onto a postcard. Be spontaneous. Trust your first draft.
  6. Address your first card to the name immediately below yours on the list of poets, and move down the list from there, one POetry POstcard per person.
  7. How you schedule your postcards is up to you. You can start immediately, spread them out, or wait and send a card each day during the more traditional month of August.

There’s a lot more information, including some courtesy protocols and other resources, on the POPO.cards site.

Hope to hear from you soon!

where you find it

December 10, 2019

Rich Maschner, a fellow participant in the August Poetry Postcard Fest, posted this wonderful found-cork poem on Facebook, reminding us that it has been a while since we posted about found poetry.

Much missed since it ceased publication in 2016, The Found Poetry Review is still available online. If you’re new to found poetry or looking for ways to spark your next project, have a look at the Resources pages.

UNLOST is a journal of found poetry and art.

Air Salt: A Trauma Mémoire as a Result of the Fall (University of Calgary Press) is a new book by Ian Kinney that uses a variety of found materials to comprehend and recover from a seven-story fall.

See Double Press has published a number of exquisite books of erasure poetry by Mary Ruefle, Lia Purpura, and Lawrence Sutin.

digital found poem is a “random poetic text generator.”

Enjoy.

(And by the way, it may only be December, but signups are open for the 2020 August Poetry Postcard Fest.)

. . . . .
photo used with permission

last chance

July 8, 2019

If you were thinking about participating in this year’s August Poetry Postcard Fest, there’s still time to sign up — but not much. Registration ends Thursday, July 18, 2019. (If you sign up after that, you’ll be registering for the 2020 Fest!)

Visit the official August Poetry Postcard Fest page, go directly to the Registration page on Brown Paper Tickets, or see previous posts on The Poetry Department.

Postcard Fest news!

April 29, 2019

For the last several years, the launch of the August Poetry Postcard Fest has come as a surprise to many people who missed the short sign-up period. No more. Paul Nelson heard the complaints and has greatly expanded the signup time for APPF 13, which will begin this Wednesday, May 1, and remain open through July 14, 2019. There is a small fee for participation in addition to the cost of stamps (and postcards, if you choose to buy them).

Learn more about the August Poetry Postcard Fest on the official APPF page, go directly to the sign-up page at Brown Paper Tickets, or click to see previous posts on this challenging and engaging project.

lettering Oregon

August 6, 2018

While people around the world are busy writing their August Poetry Postcards, people in Oregon are writing letters. Dear Stranger is a wonderful collaborative project of Oregon Humanities in which Oregonians are invited to write a letter “about the place where you live or a community where you feel at home.” Letters are submitted to Oregon Humanities, where they will be paired and mailed to another letter writer.

Dear Stranger extends the conversation that has been started in the Bridging Oregon project.

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