I am delighted to be part of an ambitious event being produced by Greg Bem, Eric Acosta, Amy Hirayama, and Denny Stern. Three of the four are postcard poets and all are energetic members of the Seattle literary community. Altar/Alter is: “an installation and performance series designed to explore the concept of altars through different perspectives, mediums, and interpretations.”
The art of sending poetry postcards is one of the most remarkable things that has ever happened to me. How it is a soul-building practice, community-building practice (as part of the annual Poetry Postcard Fest) and how it is a peace-making initiative.The poems themselves do not need to be focused on peace, per se. Just the act of letting someone in on what’s happening in your life is an act of peace. Community only happens when one can feel safe enough to be vulnerable. M. Scott Peck had many thoughts about this and I think was on to something. Sam Hamill in his remarkably perceptive essay Epistolary Poetry: Poem as Letter; Letter as Poem states the case well: “The poem as letter allows a privacy of speech, and a certain confidentiality of tone that other genres tend to repel.”
The Cherry Pit is at 2518 E. Cherry, Seattle, WA, 98122 in a building that will soon be razed and developed, but for eight days this month it will be the venue for what is shaping up into be an extraordinary experience and investigation into how we imagine the sacred in our lives and our homes. How we can set our intention to peace, justice, reverence for the land and the place in which we live. The urge for peace and the need to end climate chaos compel us to see what is within our capability as poets and humans and I give Greg, Eric, Amy, Denny and all the participants huge props for this event. I am grateful to be part.