POPO 2021 REGISTRATION OPENS:

We use Submittable to process our POPO donations.

Sunday, August 2 at 4pm PDT, we had a Zoom discussion on how three different veteran POPO participants create their unique cards: Abhaya Thomas, Colette Dutton and Tim Mateer. The original post is below the video of the event. * * * Living in Tacoma,......

I have such delight in tallying up the stats for POPO when registration is over. Maybe it is the buzz of registration being over giving me time to have my own POPO experience. Maybe it’s that POPO is “an institution” as EVERY YEAR PARTICIPANT Janet......

Poetics as Cosmology (Intro to Spontaneous Composition) A six week online (Zoom) workshop for people who have had a little experience in spontaneous poetry composition and want more. Join SPLAB and POPO Co-Founder Paul E Nelson in a lively course designed to start where the......

The recording of the July 11 webinar on Best Poetry Postcard Practices is now online. The Co-Editors of the 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards Anthology (Ina Roy-Faderman, Judy Kleinberg, Paul E Nelson) shared their tips on how they write postcard poems and answered questions......

  On Saturday, July 11 at 11am PDT, join us for a Zoom session on Best POPO Practices with the Co-Editors of 56 Days of August. Join J.I. Kleinberg, Paul E Nelson and Ina Roy-Faderman for 90 minutes of their approach to POPO, some of......

A quick note that registration for POPO 2020 ends July 18. (SIGN UP HERE!) As your POPO team works to make the fest more diverse and more popular, we’d love to tap into the GLOBAL POPO BRAIN for a moment. The art of the blurb......

Group 11 filled up yesterday and got their list. Group 12 has several registrants and POPO registration continues until July 18. Can poetry heal is the question posed by Diana Raab: …Reading and writing poetry encourages a certain interconnectedness and helps establish a sense of......

I’m delighted to have a poem in the latest edition of Rattle #68 (June 2020) as well as an interview which touches on POPO. Tim Green did a first-rate job on the interview and the magazine is $6.95. See if you can spot any postcard......

POPO poet interviews

This is the official page for the August POetry POstcard Fest — POPO. 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 2019 there were 424 participants in over 13 countries. (See THIS for details.) This is the official call for 2020. Registration is open here.
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 (like this) can turn your pictures into cards, as can any decent print shop. Make sure you print on decent card stock.
2. After you register, and once your group has filled, you will get a list via email and pdf. This will be on March 19, 2020, or after. 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.) When the registration ends you can get the addresses of all participants by request.

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.

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. Once September starts, anything is fair game except spam. 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 $10.00 U.S. to SPLAB. (There is a 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, &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/
To ensure you’ll get the call, subscribe to this blog. (The box in the upper right corner above? It says SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER. See below)
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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 August 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/