National Poetry Month: Poetry Postcards

During National Poetry Month, it’s fun to celebrate poetry in small, unexpected ways. The other day, I received this postcard in the mail:

It was delightful to catch this snippet of poetry in my hands, particularly because it was so unexpected and surprising. It made me think that sending a poetry postcard is the perfect way to celebrate creativity and create delight for someone else.

The rules are simple:

  • Write a poem (or part of a poem) on a postcard
  • Be sure to include the title and author (if you’re sending the card anonymously and including something you wrote, you may leave the author off the card – just be sure to credit someone else’s work)
  • Send to friend, acquaintance, small business, etc.

That’s it! Simple and easy, yet powerful.

If you send or receive a postcard, drop me a note in the comments section and let me know about the experience!

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Postcard Poetry Project

There’s a group on Facebook doing this, and since I’m not clever enough to share that Facebook Group Event, I’m putting the information here.
 
Every few years, we poets who love sending and receiving snail mail engage in an enormous pen pal event called the Postcard Poem Project. Last time, in 2012, we swapped poetry and postcards between over 250 poets from 16 countries on four continents. This time, we’re hoping for all seven continents. Here’s how it works:

Poets who wish to participate have until Friday, September 19th, 2014 to email their address to the website. On that weekend, they will receive two randomly-picked mailing addresses; they could be from the other side of the world, or just down the street. Poets will buy (or make) two postcards, write a short poem on the back of each (preferably about the pictures on the front of each postcard), and send them to their mailing addresses before the end of September. Easy, right? Come October or November, you will hopefully receive two poems in your mailbox from two complete strangers… poems written just for you!

You probably have questions. We have answers. But first: Are you in, or out? If you’re in, here’s what you have to do:

Send an email to postcardpoemproject@gmail.com that includes your full mailing address, the way you would write it on a postcard yourself. It should look something like this:

Your Name
Your Street Address
The Rest Of Your Address
Your Country

(People often leave out either their name or their country. Please don’t leave out your name or your country. Also, WE DID NOT KEEP ADDRESSES FROM THE LAST ROUND, so please send your address in even if you have before!)

You will receive a reply email with all the details and an FAQ section. In the meantime, help make this project grander by passing this event on to any poets you know! Spread the word, and help spread good words in the mailboxes of the world!

 

Prompt # 29 : Postcard Poems

I attended a workshop on Saturday. I took a break from being the Cupertino Poet Laureate, from being a poet/teacher with California Poets in the Schools, I went back to school and was just a poet who needed to remember her muse. It was heaven.

The workshop was hosted by the Stanford School of Medicine Program in Arts, Humanities and Medicine. The workshop leader was Sharon Bray. We did six writing exercises in eight hours. It was exhausting. But revelatory. And I made new friends. And the lunch was yummy.

One of the exercises, which I can safely snatch and share here (I don’t think Sharon would feel it is her patented idea) was to write a poem on a postcard. She had us sit outside, walk around, and then write on the postcards she brought. Of course, she infused the exercise with her signature calm, love, humor and wisdom. But there are other (many!) postcard poetry spaces in the world; here are a few:

Anyhow — it’s an easy challenge. Look outside your window and write a tiny poem that fits on a postcard. Then send it to someone you love. Be sure to take a photo of it first. Share it here with us! I’ll post mine in a few days.

Poem postcard image by David Lehman on the poets.org site.

June 8, 2014 Note: Here’s a link to my collection of postcard poems. Enjoy!

Postcard from David Lehman. Postmarked July 27, 2011, New York. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22474#sthash.0OOPRYto.dpuf
Postcard from David Lehman. Postmarked July 27, 2011, New York. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22474#sthash.0OOPRYto.dpuf
Postcard from David Lehman. Postmarked July 27, 2011, New York. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22474#sthash.0OOPRYto.dpuf