2015 Poetry Postcard F.A.Q.’s

A few random questions posed by participants, or would-be participants, in the 2015 August Poetry Postcard Fest. By the way, this is your last call for registration as that ends July 27 at 12:01 a.m.

1) Can I start now or do I have to wait until August?

By all means start if you have received your list of 32 names/addresses.

2) If we can start now, why do you call it the August Poetry Postcard Fest?

Old habits die hard and 8 years ago the fest was to happen every day in August, but the quality goes up when there is more time and if participants want to wait until August to begin sending cards, they can do it. Do you think we should change the name and take out the word August? If yes, signify below in the comments, otherwise we’ll probably hearken back to the good old days.

3) Do I have to use a quote to start my poem?

No, but I find it helps me get some direction for the poem. Of course, I could probably use the postcard image for some guidance in the moment and sometimes do.

4) Can I do an erasure?

YES! Dig this: 











5) What about language representations of bird or other animal sounds?

Now that would be something. Like this: https://vimeo.com/73974583

Andy Thomas, Bird Sounds Visualized

6) What if my group does not get 32 participants?

You can complain on the APPF Facebook page, but should that event occur, we’ll alert the whole list and ask those in the penultimate group to write a few more, as well as those annual over-achievers who send out 40 or more.

7) Why didn’t you approve my post on the APPF Facebook page?!?

You were complaining.

8) Are you making some of these questions up?

Yes, but some of the ones I am leaving out are worse!

9) Will there be a year ten of the APPF?


10) What is the key to success with the postcard project?

Learning to trust your gut and not worrying about writing a “bad poem.” Learning to put poetry closer to the front of your life’s focus once the fest starts (only for a few weeks) and look at everything as potential material for a poem. Slowing down, allowing time each day (or every other day) to make it a ritual to write the poem and read a lot of other poetry during the fest. Reading some of the essays that have been written in previous years and don’t cheat. You know who you are cheating and it ain’t the Facebook page complainers. Also proper diet and, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, ” noticing what you notice” be it p-patch dragonflies, the smell of a summer bbq or the smell of your lover’s hair. Have fun and stay tuned to this blog for info on the Postcard Anthology, for which a call will be going out. Abrazos.

About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. https://www.paulenelson.com. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. www.CascadiaPoetryFestival.org (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 2015 Poetry Postcard F.A.Q.’s

  1. Art Tulee says:

    Is it okay I focus on my group of 32 before I send ‘reply’ poems to overachievers who are sending poems OUTSIDE of their groups of 32?

    • Splabman says:

      That is the preferred method, but you might want to create an Excel file, rearrange the participant names/addresses and send them alphabetically.

  2. Linny says:

    I kinda like the “August” part of the Fest name. It gives some framework to when the majority of it takes place and also gives a time of year to look forward to it next time around. A few days in July (for early starters) doesn’t really change the August concept, at least in my mind.

    • Splabman says:

      Linny, you have advanced to become part of the august group of August Po Po Fest’ers.

      (I had to put an apostrophe in Fest’ers, otherwise it infers infection, which may have a seed of truth.)

      The PostcardMaster General

  3. Psychiatrists and the French vacation in August; Americans work and complain;
    others of us, although a few, write poems. Keep August in the name, please.

  4. bebefreed says:

    I am with Carol: keep August. We are free to spill over–to start early, and keep going later. My first poem spilled out of me yesterday as I was up in the mountains because I was inspired by the cicadas and the heat which now hold the promise of a month of poetry. Thanks to your fest! August will never be the same. Much gratitude to everyone who keeps this going.

  5. Splabman says:

    & gratitude for those who get it like you Bebe. What mountains? TPMG

  6. Mary Ellen Bertram says:

    I like calling it the August Poetry Postcard Fest, even though we can send our poems early. Also if you need someone to fill in for an incomplete group, I’ll be glad to do that.

  7. Diana says:

    Truth. August in the title helps me to remember to register. :). Thanks all for sharing your poetry with the world! Diana

  8. Gay Guard Chamberlin says:

    Keep August in the name but continue to widen the perimeters; I like the permission-giving openness of “you can start earlier, write more.” I started earlier but am waiting a few more days to start sending. MY fantasy/hope is I’ll get to the point where I start earlier, end later, and send more than the 31!

Leave a Reply