SICA - USA supports POPO - the August POetry POstcard Fest
Updated: May 1, 2020
"Every summer since 2007, hundreds of poets participate in an old school activity. They write poems onto postcards with a pen and send them to (mostly) strangers all over the world. They register for the August Poetry Postcard Fest, get a list populated with names and addresses and write those folks poems over the course of July and August. Some participants create their own cards. Some get cheap ones at the drug store. Some, like me, become postcard addicts, building their home stash year round and especially while traveling. By September 8th I usually have a stash of new poems that were composed for, and sent directly to, me. It’s a little intoxicating.
I started the August Poetry Postcard Fest in summer 2007 with Lana Ayers, who, with a great editor’s mind, put together some random notes I sent her and set the course of the project:
It is an experiment in composing in the moment and your poem has an audience of one. This is designed in part as a conversation … Write about something that relates to your sense of “place” however you interpret that, something about how you relate to the postcard image, what you see out the window, what you’re reading, a dream you had that morning, or an image from it, etc. Like “real” postcards, get to something of the “here and now” when you write. Present tense is preferred … Do write original poems for the project. Taking old poems and using them is not what we have in mind … This is also an experiment in community consciousness. Try to respond to cards that you get with subject, image, or any kind of link if possible. Often newsworthy events happen in August. How would our community respond? Letting a card that you receive linger for a while before you respond to the next person on your list is the preferred method. When you go to your mailbox each day, put the bills aside, read the poems you get and think about them as you compose to the next person on your list." - Paul Nelson
SICA-USA has awarded POPO, the August POetry POstcard Fest a grant to support this international festival (created by Subud member Paul Nelson and Lana Ayers) and encourages Subud poets around the world to join the fest.
This year the festival has been moved up due to the social distancing and COVID-19 virus quarantine situation and will already start on March 19. After registration, you will have time until August 29 to send your POetry POstcards into the World.
How to take part
Participating poets register for a (minimum) $10 contribution to SPLAB, get a list of 32 names & addresses of fellow participants (yours and 31 others) after March 19, 2020, write 31 original poems directly (1st take) onto postcards addressed to names below them on their list of poets. Documenting one's own poems before mailing is advised, but not required.
There is a popular Facebook page for the fest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PoPo.cards/ and the possibilities for creativity are endless, with the content being one realm, the making of the actual cards (which is not required but many participants choose to do) down to the actual penmanship/calligraphy.
SICA-USA is delighted to support this worthy project. Registration this year ends March, 19, 2020.
Read more from Paul Nelson about the fest here.
About the author Paul Nelson
Paul Nelson is a local helper and Rental Agent at Subud Greater Seattle, the webmaster for Subud Pacific Northwest, the Secretary of SICA-USA and founded the non-profit that administers this event, SPLAB, The Seattle Poetics LAB.
Find more about Paul and his projects here: