OK poets! At this point we are one over the record 302 poets we set last year, but I am sure we’ll get much past that. I have sent a list via email and am posting the instructions here as well for easy reference.
North American states and provinces included in the fest this year are: Alabama, Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Countries, as sent to me, include: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, UK, USA & Wales. Did I miss any place? Let me know.
1. Make sure you want to do this. It means writing at least 31 original poems onto cards by August 31. We’re going to allow folks to start early this year so if you sign up, there are no excuses short of (lord forbid) injuries, sickness or other unfortunate events. But if you sign up, you send 31 cards. Sign up here.
2. Look to see where your name is on the list that was emailed. Make sure the info is correct. I had to abbreviate some things for space reasons.
3. When you see your name, send three original poems to those three people JUST BELOW your name. ie: #100, Desiree Wright of Battle Ground, WA, should send cards to: 101 Kathy Shoemaker, 102 Dana Bennett & 103 Khadija Anderson. Do it before July 27. If you want to send more, that’s ok. If you are at the bottom of the list, start with the names at the very top. ie: #303 will send to #1, #2 & #3. After August 1, start sending at least one a day until you have sent 31 cards total, continuing down from your name. Desiree will end at #132 of she writes the required 31. (Some people also pick out a few extra poets, friends, neighbors, and write 35 or 40!)
4. Once you start receiving poems, see if there is a thread, a tone, an image, something that can inspire you in the next poem you send. Please refer to the call and the handy links there for more help on the how of this. http://paulenelson.com/2014/07/04/august-poetry-postcard-project-year-8/
5. If you have people from outside your country on the list YOU MUST SEND EXTRA POSTAGE. From the US, a card anywhere across the border costs $1.15 in postage, or FOUR POSTCARD stamps. You can use two regular stamps and a postcard stamp. Have you seen the Jimi Hendrix stamps? Way cool. Some people recognize that the stamp itself can add flair to the card. If you send oversized cards, you’ll need a .49c stamp in the U.S. See: http://postcalc.usps.com/Postcards.aspx
6. If you are on Facebook, check out the Facebook Postcard Fest page. Many people get excited about the fest, but I would suggest writing your poems and then chatting about it on the Facebook page or other social media AFTER the fest. Let’s try to recreate a feeling of the time (gasp) BEFORE SOCIAL MEDIA. Like when you’d send a card to a friend to tell her how the vacation was going. DO NOT POST YOUR POEMS ONLINE UNTIL 30 DAYS AFTER THEY GET SENT and more if the card was sent overseas. Pity to see it online before it arrives in the box. Kinda defeats the purpose. Also, ASK PERMISSION to post other people’s poems. OK? The image is fair game, but make sure the poet who sent you the poem grants permission for you to publish in any way.
7. Just putting this list together is a task and I am grateful to Lana Ayers and Brendan McBreen for doing it in past years. If you can get a question about the fest answered by reading something on the postcard blog or at the link above (and all the links there) please do. I will be away from August 1-17 and will be a little preoccupied at that time.
8. If you want to join the fest, I’ll send a final list out late on July 26 or on the 27th, so you can still sign up. But the cut off will be final at that time, sorry.
9. Document your cards before sending them out. Scanning both sides is one way, if you have a home scanner. Then re-typing the poems and recreating the line breaks is the way I have done it. Many examples on this blog.
10. I am planning the third Poems for Peace event on September 21 at 7PM at Spring Street Center. If you are a postcard fest participant, consider attending that event and reading a postcard poem or two. The house has some lodging for folks considering on overnight stay in Seattle. See: our current Airbnb listings here for Room 1:https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3143227
Room 2 is here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2593263
Room 3: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1763809 and
Room 4: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2593176
You can also lodge at the house at other times of the year when visiting Seattle. The host is friendly and accommodating.
THANK YOU for making the August Poetry Postcard Fest an annual highlight for me. I’d sure like to have a gathering with as many postcard folks as possible some time. Let me know if you have any interest in making that happen.