Although I am working on a second book as well as doing a full-time day job and various other things I thought I would join in with the annual August Poetry Postcard Fest organised by Paul Nelson and others.
The idea is that each day during August you write a poem on a postcard and send it to another poet who is also writing poems and sending them out. By September you will have written 31 poems and hopefully have received a similar number of poetry postcards through the post. I always loved receiving postcards as a child and still do as an adult although it has become something of lost art. After all why would anyone write something by hand and then entrust it to the mercies of the postal service to deliver when they could just zap off an email.
It is proving to be tremendous fun. I have been obeying the rules and writing original poems, mostly inspired by the pictures on my cards. There is not much room on the back of a postcard but that seems to make it easier.
“It is an experiment in composing in the moment and your poem has an audience of one.” Paul Nelson.
Somehow knowing that only one person is going to read the poem makes it less daunting and more personal. There are over 400 poets taking part this year, most of them are in the USA so all the poems will be in English. I have a couple of non-US folk on my list, a Canadian, a couple of Brits and a person from Germany.
So far I’ve received one card which is of cowboys from Pendleton, although on closer examination I can see they are statues of cowboys not moving which the poem on the back makes great play of. I can’t remember the last time I was so pleased about receiving an item of post. The poems I’ve sent out have been on familiar themes, peace, war, a sense of home but the idea is that as you start receiving cards you should try to respond by letting the card linger before you write your next one.
Speaking of which….