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.

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!

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.

go outside

August 18, 2018

This evening, Saturday, August 18, 2018, 6:30 to 8:30pm, join poets Carletta Carrington Wilson and Paul Nelson along with The Jim O’Halloran Quintet and vocalist Elva Pope at the 13th Annual Bradner Gardens Concert and Poetry Reading. Bring chairs, blankets, dinner, family, and friends, and enjoy a congenial evening at Bradner Gardens Park in the Mt. Baker neighborhood of southeast Seattle.

Becoming Cascadian

May 14, 2018

Interested in the intersection of poetics and bioregionalism? There are a limited number of openings for participants in Becoming Cascadian, a community-building retreat designed for poets, artists, and bioregionalists to gather, share strategies, and discuss “roles as humans in this time of ecological crisis and end-stage empire.” Keynote poet Andrew Schelling has published 20 books, including seven of translation from India’s early poetry.

Becoming Cascadian will take place Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 3, 2018, in Seattle. Poetry writing experience is not necessary. Advance registration is required no later than Tuesday, May 29.

Visit the Becoming Cascadian page for full details.

tomorrow in Winthrop!

May 10, 2018

Tomorrow at 5:30pm, you’re invited to join Tod Marshall, Paul Nelson, Judy Kleinberg, and friends for a poetry reading at Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop, Washington. Hope to see you there!

Here comes the Cascadia Poetry Festival! Get thee to Tacoma! Events begin on Thursday evening, October 12, 2017, 7:00pm, at King’s Books and continue all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Washington State History Museum.

There will be a tribute to Tacoma native Richard Brautigan with his daughter, Ianthe Brautigan, as well as readings and/or workshops featuring Michael McClure, CAConrad, Patricia Smith, Bruce Weigl, Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Sharon Thesen, Lucia Misch, and Lorna Dee Cervantes, among others. A $25 Gold Pass gives you access to everything except workshops. See the complete schedule and performer bios as well as links to workshop descriptions and event registration.

Please join us this evening at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room where Poetry Postcards: a panel and conversation will be a lively exploration of the poetry and art of postcards. We have a terrific panel of poets, artists, educators, and avid fans of the postcard, including Tallie Jones, Nancy Pagh, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, Ina Roy, Joanna Thomas, and moderator Paul Nelson.

There will be lots of images, poems, and conversation about spontaneous poetics and how postcards fit into our text/social media/email/hashtag lifestyle, plus a couple of the panelists will offer prompts or exercises.

The event is also a book launch for 56 Days of August, the anthology of the 2016 August Poetry Postcard Fest.

ALSO, we are doing a free POSTCARD EXCHANGE. Bring unused postcards (commercial or homemade) and take a new card home for every one you bring.

The entire event is free (except for book sales, which are encouraged) and should be a lot of fun. Please join us and bring your art/poetry pals!

poetry postcards 2017

October 5, 2017

As a seven-year veteran of the August Poetry Postcard Fest (APPF), I think it just keeps getting better. This year, I received more postcards and better poems than in previous years (several arrived after the above photo was snapped).

Taking a hint from other postcarders, I wrote all of my poems on a theme. What that means is that I now have a collection of short poems to revise into a chapbook! The theme added an unexpected energy to the process: while I gave little thought to what I’d write the next day, each morning a poem seemed to be waiting to be shaped to postcard size.

Each year, a number of participants do a recap of their APPF adventures. Here are a few who have provided links:

Paul E. Nelson | Barbara Jean Sunshine Walsh |
Christine Hartzell
| Jane Swanson | Judith van Praag | Kristin Cleage Williams | L. Lisa Lawrence | Linda Crosfield |Margo Jodyne Dills | Rosanne Martine-Braslow (2016) | Sarah Sousa

One of the pleasures of APPF is that it explores the boundary between words and image. Many participants make their own postcards and many use images from cards sent or received as a place to begin their poems.

At an event coming up this Monday in Bellingham, we’ll explore that boundary. More than your typical stand-up-and-read poetry reading, Poetry Postcards: a panel and conversation will examine the postcard experience from many directions, including the visual. Please join us at this free event and postcard exchange!

Monday, October 9, 2017, 7:00pm
Bellingham, Washington
Poetry Postcards: a panel and conversation
at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room

A conversation with panelists Tallie Jones, Nancy Pagh, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, Ina Roy-Faderman, and Joanna Thomas, plus moderator Paul Nelson. They will show images, offer resources, read postcard poems, lead exercises, and offer prompts. As a bonus, there will be a postcard exchange: bring unused postcards (commercial or handmade) and take home an equal number contributed by others. Click for PDF event flyer with panelist bios.

There are other APPF events scheduled in October, in Seattle and Portland, and more on the way. Meanwhile, the countdown to August Poetry Postcard Fest 2018 has already begun (to make sure you don’t miss the sign-up call, go to that page and sign up for Paul Nelson’s newsletter).

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