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I had no idea when Bhakti Watts and I moved to Rainier Beach in 2017 how much we would love this neighborhood, how much it would give back to us and shape our lives. And yes, we’ve each survived cancer, mine prostate cancer in 2020 and Bhakti breast cancer in 2024, but this has only made the lives we have sweeter, if you can believe it. And I had no idea in 2007 when I asked Lana Ayers about starting an annual postcard fest what we were starting, but it has been a life-changing practice, has colored my summers with a very distinct poetry hue and has led me to the DaySong, which I will again be tackling on Sept 1.

All this to say Postcards from Mapes Creek is shaping up to be a very joyous occasion for me. Some Poetry Postcard Fest veterans and at least one newcomer will read a few postcard poems, talk about their postcard method and what the fest means to them. You are invited to attend:

Postcards from Mapes CreekBe'er Sheva Park
Sunday, July 14, 2024
Be’er Sheva Park
8650 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Tim Mateer, Abhaya Thomas, Colette Dutton, Sally Hedges-Blanquez, Zach Charles, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Greg Bem, Stacey Jones, Denny Stern, Lou Cabeen, Ellen Shaman and Dorothy Lemoult are among those who are planning to attend. Sally and Zach are on the Poetry Postcard Fest committee and have been of enormous help. Verónica Martinez is the AMAZING AA of the Cascadia Poetics Lab and will be there to help us make it all go.

That we are so focused on Mapes Creek is because to know one’s self, one must know where you are and this creek has seen so much, flows through the amazing Kubota Garden and should someday be daylighted entirely. The group working to make that happen is the Engage, Educate, & Discover at Mapes Creek/dxʷwuqʷəb. I am proud to be part of that effort.

That I am convinced spontaneous composition is a deep way of getting to know one’s self is part of what makes the Poetry Postcard Fest one of my proudest accomplishments. My great epiphany in life was spurred in large part by interviewing Michael McClure in 1995. But the fest also recognizes the bodhisattva vow of poverty Sam Hamill took on behalf pf poetry. More on what Sam meant to me here.

That this event happens on a day where Tim, Abhaya and Colette will also show how they make collage postcards at Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is also a blessing. 11a-3p, Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Broad and Western. Thank you Heaven at SAM. It is free.

That the fest will have a new record number of participants when registration closes Monday, July 15, is also a blessing. If you have not registered, or know someone who might enjoy this experience, see:

I hope to see you Sunday. We are grateful to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund and the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council for support to help stage this event!

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This project is funded in part by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.