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Tag Archives: August Poetry Postcards

box o’ books

Very excited to finally have in hand the August Poetry Postcard Fest (APPF) anthology, 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press).

Each August, hundreds of people from around the world write and mail a daily poem on a postcard — spontaneous, un-edited, and, more often than not, going to a complete stranger. 2016 was the tenth anniversary of APPF, and the anthology was assembled to honor the occasion. It includes poems and full-color images selected from the participants’ submissions. I was honored to be invited to co-edit the collection with Paul Nelson and Ina Roy-Faderman.

A number of free book-launch-poetry-postcard events are scheduled and more are in the works:

Monday, October 9, 2017, 7:00pm
Bellingham, Washington
Poetry Postcards: a panel and conversation
at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room
A conversation about the possibilities of postcard poetics with panelists Tallie Jones, Nancy Pagh, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, Ina Roy-Faderman, and Joanna Thomas, plus moderator Paul Nelson. They will show images, offer resources, read postcard poems, and may even lead exercises or offer prompts. As a bonus, there will be a postcard exchange: bring unused postcards (commercial or handmade) and take home an equal number contributed by others. (J.I. Kleinberg, coordinator) Click for PDF event flyer with panelist bios.

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:00pm
Tacoma, Washington
56 Days of August Book Launch
at King’s Books
Readings by contributing poets — just one of many events scheduled for the Cascadia Poetry Festival

Friday, October 27, 2017, 7:00pm
Portland, Oregon
56 Days of August Anthology: PDX Launch Event & Poetry Reading
at Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
Readings by contributing poets

56 Days of August will be for sale at each event and online. In addition, there’s a 56 Days of August Indiegogo campaign to cover a variety of costs. There are some swell perks — primarily signed copies of poetry books due out this winter. Have a look, buy a book, and please join us at one of these events.

#DearYoungPerson

A number of youth-serving organizations in Charlottesville have come together for the #DearYoungPerson campaign. They are asking people everywhere to send postcards of support and encouragement to Charlottesville youth, many of whom are experiencing the community’s confusion, anger, sadness, and frustration. 85% of the youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters in Charlottesville are of color. Most of the participating organizations serve diverse populations of children and youth whose identities were publicly attacked on Friday and Saturday.

Send a note, a postcard or a poem to P.O. Box 814, Charlottesville, VA 22902, and your message of support will be distributed by local youth-serving organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, Madison House, The PB&J Fund, Piedmont CASA – Charlottesville, Piedmont Family YMCA, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, Albemarle County Parks & Recreation, and the City of Charlottesville. See more on Facebook.

Here’s what I sent (I’m also participating in the August Poetry Postcard Fest and this was today’s postcard poem):

the horse

another postcard…

Elsie and Jake postcard back

Elsie and Jake plus two unknown -- postcardNo note suggests the place or tells their names. Nothing in their faces says Wish you were here. But in their Edwardian garb, their solemn stares, my grandfather’s firm grip on my grandmother’s arm, the faint trace of ivied column in the background, the image says occasion. The postcard was never sent, and shall not be.

Still cinched into
my slenderness
my practiced gaze
behatted bride
I do not know
that you will die
so soon but only
that your earnest
heat can melt my ice
and make me laugh.

© j.i. kleinberg 2013

practice

POST CARD

1914 - D on burroFor the third year, I am participating in the August Poetry Postcard Fest. It works like this: you sign up, gather 31 postcards and stamps, then on each day of August you write a postcard-size poem onto one of the cards and mail it to the next person on the list. In turn, you receive poetry postcards, somehow always a surprise and a delight, even though you anticipate their arrival.

The send/receive ratio is not always perfect, but I take the challenge seriously and write a fresh poem each day, rough drafts to be sure, usually inspired by the image on the card.

After last year’s fest, I decided to continue the daily practice, sans postcards, each morning drafting a tiny poem inspired by whatever is on my mind or in my sight. Among those 300-some poems I may later discover something worthwhile, some words that merit further attention, that will perhaps find their way into a new poem. Meanwhile, it’s simply a practice in the many senses of that word.

Today, hoping to pick up my ragged thread of family stories, I found this photo of my mother. Appropriately, it’s a postcard.

we are bundled both
in our winter coats
uncertain strangers
holding very still
warming each other
this moment of love
we will not remember