Poetry Postcard Fest 2021 REGISTRATION CLOSES:

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Linda Crosfield and I met in George Bowering’s 2005 week-long class at the (now defunct) Victoria School of Writing Summer School where we learned, among other things, the importance of putting chickens in poems. One of the few postcarders who has done it every year......

Our good friends at Lost & Found are at it again with subjects near and dear to our heart. From their e-newsletter, which went out this morning, find postcards, literary history and news of one of the poets to which the 2021 Poetry Postcard Fest......

Postcarder Sally Hedges-Blanquez points us to the Paris Review and some AMAZING collages by the late artist Eileen Agar. From the article: In an undated note bequeathed to the Tate Archive in 1992, Eileen Agar (1899–1991) writes of her admiration for the author of Alice’s......

The 15th Poetry Postcard Fest is on and registration is in its final two weeks. So far 11 different countries are represented, along with 42 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces. And a beautiful primer on the fest has been created by Julie A. Fast,......

We had an excellent time talking poetry postcards on Juneteenth, June 19, 2021. Over 30 people joined the Zoom affair as Poetry Postcard Fest Co-Founder Paul E Nelson talked about the origin of the fest, a collaboration with Lana Ayers, who simply said: “I’ll help.”......

Postcarder Sally Hedges-Blanquez alerts us to: Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards will present a comprehensive survey of Kelly’s postcard collages, with 150 works on view. Many postcards reveal specific places where Kelly lived or visited, such as Paris, where Kelly lived in the late 1940s and early......

Join us Via Zoom, Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 10am PDT for a Poetry Postcard Fest orientation. If you have never participated before, here’s your chance to see how it works. If you HAVE done the fest before, here is your chance to see some......

I was delighted to team up with postcarder (with a new book!) Margaret Lee for an essay that has been published in The Journal for Black Mountain College Studies, Volume 12. (pdf) Postcard poets represented include J.I. Kleinberg, Judy Jensen, Tim Mateer & Colette Dutton.......

Have you seen the gorgeous Online Poetry Postcard Fest Exhibit yet? Thank you Kristen Ryberg and James Gaynor for making it a reality. On that site you can read that the 15th year of the Poetry Postcard Fest is a tribute to two poets who......

Veteran postcard poet NanLeah Mick is helping with this poetry event: Voices of the Grieving Heart A Poetry Reading by Six Contributors with Mike Bernhardt, Kris Kington-Barker and John Fox ~ Free Online Event ~ Sunday, May 23, 1:30 – 3:00 pm Pacific and/or Sunday,......

Ellensburg, Washington postcard poet Joanne Thomas has released a book of poems; inventive “definitions” entitled bluebird (bloo-burd). TWO postcard poems chime in as Bluebird blurbers, Bethany Reid and Matt Trease: Here is but one example at Joanna’s use of this method: The publisher is Milk......

I am asking your support for SPLAB during Give Big and contributions are being accepted now. As you may know, SPLAB is the non-profit organization that facilitates the Poetry Postcard Fest. (Registration for Year 15 is open now, here.) Give Big today here: https://www.givebigwa.org/Splab Between......

Participating poet interviews

Eleven Countries, 42 States, 2 Provinces

The 15th Poetry Postcard Fest is on and registration is in its final two weeks. So far 11 different countries are represented, along with 42 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces. And a beautiful primer on the fest has been created by Julie A. Fast,…

Poetry Postcard Orientation

We had an excellent time talking poetry postcards on Juneteenth, June 19, 2021. Over 30 people joined the Zoom affair as Poetry Postcard Fest Co-Founder Paul E Nelson talked about the origin of the fest, a collaboration with Lana Ayers, who simply said: “I’ll help.”…

2021, Year 15, Tribute to di Prima, McClure

Have you seen the gorgeous Online Poetry Postcard Fest Exhibit yet? Thank you Kristen Ryberg and James Gaynor for making it a reality. On that site you can read that the 15th year of the Poetry Postcard Fest is a tribute to two poets who…

bluebird (bloo-burd)

Ellensburg, Washington postcard poet Joanne Thomas has released a book of poems; inventive “definitions” entitled bluebird (bloo-burd). TWO postcard poems chime in as Bluebird blurbers, Bethany Reid and Matt Trease: Here is but one example at Joanna’s use of this method: The publisher is Milk…

Diane di Prima Postcard to Christopher Luna

Postcard poet Christopher Luna checks in from Ghost Town, USA with a post about and postcard from postcard poet Diane di Prima: Dear Paul: I saw your post about Diane di Prima and Michael McClure, and thought you might want to see the postcards Diane sent…

Karen Loeb Reading

Wisconsin postcard poet sends news: Hi Paul– I’ll be giving a presentation at the U. of Wisconsin-Stout in celebration of Nat’l Poetry Month this coming Mon. Apr. 12 @ 7:00 pm CDT. I’ll be reading several postcard poems from last year, along with the photos,…

I’ll Miss You Later James Gaynor

Our own postcard poet James Gaynor of NYC was interviewed about his new book I’ll Miss You Later by Meanshappy.com: While organising some personal papers during a lockdown spring-clean, James Gaynor came across a pocket notebook – it was a notebook he had written in…

Susan Kay Anderson book on Virginia Brautigan Aste

Postcard poet Susan Kay Anderson has a new book on Virginia Brautigan Aste: In this startling and fascinating book, Susan Kay Anderson takes the reader on a journey from California to Oaxaca to Hawaii, through the life and words of Virginia Brautigan Aste – married…

12.11.2020 Nina Murray Poetry Postcard Fest Interview

Nina Murray is a newcomer to the Poetry Postcard Fest, with 2020 being her first year. A Foreign Service Officer, she had a lot to share about the fest, her work and the state of consciousness that poetry (done right) can enable. Enjoy!

12.10.2020 Cat Ruiz Kigerl Poetry Postcard Fest Interview

LONGTIME Poetry Postcard Fest POet Cat Ruiz Kigerl discusses her participation in the annual Poetry Postcard Fest: Poetry Postcard Fest. Cat Ruiz Kigerl was born in Seattle. She is the author of three poetry books: Beach Notes, TwoNewfs Publishing, 2020, At the Town Café, Goldfish…

This is the official page for the Poetry Postcard Fest. The Fest was initiated in 2007 by poets Paul Nelson and Lana Ayers and involves people signing up to send 31 original poems on postcards to folks on their list before the end of August. It is the biggest annual fundraiser for SPLAB. In 2020 there were 544 participants in over 11 countries. This is the official call for 2020. Registration opens Sept 1 for POPO2021.

See this essay in Rattle Magazine about the fest:

Photograph by Chad Peltola (CC0)

Once you are registered (click here to register) here are the INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Obtain or make at least 31 postcards, one for each poet on your list. Some people make their cards. Many places can turn your pictures into cards, as can any decent print shop. DO print on decent card stock.

2. After you register, and once your group has filled, you will get a list via email and pdf. Find your name on that list and please make sure your info is correct. (You will not get your group list at registration, but when there are 32 in your group or when registration ends.)

peN Collage Postcard July 1 43. Once you get your list, start writing original poems directly (1st take) onto postcards addressed to the names below you on the list of poets. (If you are #8 on the list, start with #9 and proceed from there.) Just like you’d write a typical postcard, only this one is a poem and linked to the epistle form, as you are writing TO someone. The idea is to practice spontaneity, that is write directly on the card in one take. If it’s hard at the start of the fest to do that, relax, because it gets better as the month goes on, no one can publish your poem without your permission and you are writing to a PERSON. Review the links below for guidance ESPECIALLY the sending postcards to strangers blog post by David Sherman, the Ina Roy-Faderman testimonial and Linda Crosfield’s 7.14.16 blog post. Remember Allen Ginsberg’s paraphrase of the Blake quite: “Abstractions and Generalizations are the plea of the hypocrite, knave and scoundrel.” Or as Ezra Pound said: “Abstractions must be earned.” Really.

4. Once you have written cards to all poets below your name on your list, continue to the top of your group of 32. Ideally you’ll be incorporating themes, tones or motifs from cards you have received. If you do not get cards from participants right away, or are not inspired by them, no problem, but do write at least 31 postcard poems if you sign up. This is on YOU dear Poetry Postcard Fest poet.

Postcard by Germán Montalvo

Postcard by Germán Montalvo

5. DON’T POST YOUR OWN POEMS ONLINE UNTIL A MONTH AFTER YOU SEND THEM. Also, do not publish anyone else’s poem without their written permission. Having a scanner helps to archive the image perfectly and scanners are now $100. Or you could take a photo of the image (or scan it) with your cellphone. Do realize if you are sending a card abroad, it may take longer than a month. Do not disclose any participant’s address online.

6. There is a Facebook page for the Poetry Postcard Fest but best to let the cards speak for themselves during the fest. You might want to write after the fest about your experience. NEVER spam the list about any product or service, including your books.

7. The fest is open to people who contribute at least $15.00 U.S. to SPLAB. (That includes the service charge.) I want to be a resource for you especially if you are trying to make the shift from relentless editing to learning how to develop trust for your instincts. This is the force behind the fest and, I think, the reason that it has grown in popularity over the years. There are costs to maintaining the email list (Mailchimp, Submittable, &c) and website. This is a fundraiser for SPLAB and provides enough for us to pay basic bills. Contributions are welcome.

8. Ina Roy and J.I. Kleinberg and I have created a postcard anthology. See: https://www.56daysofaugust.com/

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We send out an average of two emails a week from this blog and www.splab.org, the literary arts-oriented non-profit org founded in 1993.

9. Other pages nearby worth a look regarding postcards and spontaneous composition are on the drop down nav button below the Poetry Postcard Fest link above and here:
2019 Wrapups

Amy Miller’s 2016 Fest Wrap-up.

Or Amy’s 2018 wrap-up.

Judy Kleinberg’s 2014 fest summary with links to other participant blogs.

Her 2015 fest wrap-up.

Angélique Jamail’s 2018 afterword.

https://paulenelson.com/2013/06/24/the-tao-of-postcards/ and

https://paulenelson.com/workshops/poetry-postcard-exercise/ and

https://changeorder.typepad.com/weblog/2010/08/sending-postcards-to-strangers.html

and

https://boyntonpoetrycontest.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/why-postcards-why-poetry/

The Poetry Postcard Fest is supported by SICA-USA, the Subud International Cultural Association.

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