Your Poetry Postcard Fest Blurb Here

June 30, 2020
by Paul Nelson

A quick note that registration for Poetry Postcard Fest 2020 ends July 18. (SIGN UP HERE!)

As your Poetry Postcard Fest team works to make the fest more diverse and more popular, we’d love to tap into the GLOBAL Poetry Postcard Fest BRAIN for a moment. The art of the blurb is underrated. The little testimonials we often find on the back of a book, hopefully from a famous writer we love and cherish, are quite an art form and not much over 100 years old, so a comparatively new work. Here are some blurbs for your Poetry Postcard Fest Co-Founder’s book A Time Before Slaughter:

Paul Nelson’s epic Slaughter explores the history, mythology and ecology of a place, a meeting-ground for various cultural interchanges, both good and bad, in the tradition of Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems or W.C. Williams’ Paterson, but uniquely his own. It is a pleasure to read—enlightening, serious, funny, and overflowing with life.

— Sam Hamill

A TIME BEFORE SLAUGHTER walks with great poetical ability the fine and difficult line between the political and the poetical: a fine line that in most poets leads to the political tract, which shortsells the poetical. Paul Nelson, on the contrary, manages to deal with today’s world, and its terrible pitfalls, with an eye on creation and not on cheap lamentation: it results in a book where neither poetry nor nature, nor life or history, are tamed; they are exalted, in all its complex reality, through a sustained poetical state that turns A TIME BEFORE SLAUGHTER into an authentic work of art.

— José Kozer

Here’s one more big hunk of the American shoulder, as Olson carved his from the North East, Nelson takes his from the Pacific North West. It’s beautiful time-space in new words.


— Michael McClure

Here is the urban Northwest as it was and as it will be. Read it and weep. And cheer. The poem will take you where the I-5 can’t go.


George Bowering

(A Time Before Slaughter is) A wonderful piece of work. That form is nothing so simple-minded as “extension” of content – but they’re one thing inseparable. The “form” dances and changes continuously (like the river). It’s a fierce poem – beautiful & heart-breaking & dark & uplifting – “Slaughter” is a wonderful journey.

— Diane diPrima

Now we’d love to have YOUR Poetry Postcard Fest blurb in the comments. Adding one gives us the right to use it to promote the fest. We would love if you put the town in which you live after, along with how many years you have done the fest. (If you don’t know definitively, your best guess will suffice.)

My crack at it:

Poetry Postcard Fest is a 56 day self-guided primer in spontaneous composition, multi-media and literary community. This has become an integral part of my summer and my own creative process. Poetry postcards are a vastly underrated art form.

— Paul E Nelson, Seattle, WA, 14 year participant

Use the comment section for your blurb. Thanks for taking a crack at this!



  1. Rhonda Rosenheck

    In the year of global social isolation and digital replacements, I rediscovered the excitement of written correspondence through PoPo. The joys include picking (or creating, which I’ll try next year) fun postcards, writing and sending spontaneous poems to strangers on a list and around the world, and anticipating the daily sorting of mail, because something personal and fun might be in there along with junk and bills! Remember those feelings? Nothing digital compares. Try it for satisfying social connectedness and creative inspiration.

  2. Lara Phelps, Worthington OH, 2nd year participant

    POPO: One of the best things you’ll ever do for your summer! Create. Write. Discover new friends and other unexpected things.

  3. Judy Kleinberg

    I love the tight geography of the postcard poem.

  4. Mary Beth Frezon

    Inside you is poetry waiting for some ink, some paper and a reader. PoPo Fest gives you an excuse to make all those come together! Put those spontaneous words on a card, Attach a stamp and send off to the next person on your list. As a bonus for your bravery, you’ll be the lucky recipient of someone else’s daring act. Be brave – write poetry – sign up for Poetry Postcard Fest! Having been a participant for several years, it’s the highlight of my summer and a good boost to my writing practice. My mailbox brings me happiness and sends off postcard happiness to others. Just do it.

  5. Colette Dutton

    Enter the 4×6 portal that is The August Postcard Poetry Festival – PoPo. You can dip your pen into inspired words, utter nonsense, rhymes & thymes previously unshared. In return you get thirty-one (or so) gifts & glimpses into the heart, soul, writings and art from people around the globe. It is “a most excellent journey”.

  6. Penelope Moffet

    What I like most about the poetry postcard festival is that it forces spontaneity (oxymoron alert!). I try to capture what I’m feeling/thinking right then in a first draft written on the back of a postcard. I copy it over into my PoPo notebook, make a note of which stranger or friend I’m sending the card to, add postage and take it down the mailbox as soon as possible. The whole catch-and-release aspect of the process is energizing. This year I’m sending more cards with my own art on one side and the poem on the other, but I also use commercially-made cards when it feels right. This is my third year of participating in PoPo. I live in a small urban county called Los Angeles, California. The poetry postcard festival makes me feel connected to a larger community of writers/artists/thinking people.

  7. Tim Mateer

    Reignite your mailbox! PoPo fest will have your mailbox humming and crackling with words and images, it’s magical. You will want more.

  8. Jane Swanson

    PoPo Fest brings images and words together and sends them across cities, states and continents.

  9. Diana L. Conces

    Living in quarantine? Make that daily walk to the mailbox an exciting journey to unexplored lands, real and imaginary, in the company of strangers who may become friends over the years. Give yourself a reason to get up, create, connect, and put on bunny slippers, while giving your postal workers something to wonder about.

  10. Kristen Lenea Ryberg

    Swing in to the vibrant poetry/art making practice of creating a 4 x 6 magic carpet to give and receive. I wouldn’t miss it!

  11. Mary Leary

    Very excited to learn I’m in the Poetry Postcard Festival; a grand term, as far as I can tell, for the act of sending spontaneous poetry on postcards to a bunch of hapless victims and receiving same…

  12. Julie Naslund

    What do I love about PoPo? I love how it augments my poetry practice, exercises my ability to listen to the ambient language and thought in my brain and follow the impulse to construct something with it. I love how it celebrates the extemporaneous. I love, really treasure, the unexpected gift of language in my mailbox, the sustenance of a poetic community. I feel these tendrils of thought as poets reach out to each other across the globe – a poetic neural network!


    Diane Thomas, Boulder, CO, 3d yr. PoPo

    How compelling is the PoPo month, when tiny poems show up unbidden in our mailboxes each day; and we are duty-bound to join the fray, our creativity enhanced by August heat.

  14. Daniel Smith

    In This August Heat

    The muse comes
    in a blue and white truck
    on a salmon colored stamp

    picture and art and all;
    interrupts the quietude
    sweet rest among the oaks

    in the veritable crotch
    within this pandemic:
    connects the greater US

    to the lesser ME.
    We spend all that time
    on a word or two,

    when the river is over there
    plunging to the transitive
    in one small splash

    and scamper like ticks
    on 4 x 6 card stock
    waves awashing

    Stuck in such the wake of images
    an old printer loosens
    a word or phrase,

    the act of poesy
    production by the fickle
    bright factory

    imagination beckons
    some assembly line
    piccolos sounding at dusk,

    shelters this transient community
    of creatives, artistic miscreants
    social isolates

    no match
    for this indeterminable

  15. Sigrid ( Siggi ) Saradunn

    This is my third year of participating in PoPo. The idea of receiving post card snail mail was exciting.
    The odds of receiving “real” mail from my children or grandchildren was slim and none.
    Along came reading about PoPo on another site and I was hooked before I even knew anything other
    than real mail would show up in the form of post cards.
    Growing up in the 1940’s ~ 1950’s, post cards were a big deal to send and receive.
    I live in DownEast Maine. half way between Bangor and Bar Harbor, in a city of less than 10.000 people.
    Now I am elderly and back to the beginning … post cards in the mail ! With poems and art and friendship.

  16. Christine M. Kenddall

    I didn’t know in 2007 August Postcard Poetry was in its first year, but here I am still participating in what it evolved into, PoPo, in its 13th year. I may be a rule breaker in Paul’s book because I compose on a keyboard, that’s how my brain works best, and it is spontaneous writing, and what comes of my prompt surprises me as much as words on cards in my mailbox. It’s been different to begin earlier than a few days before the 1st of August, and to have only 10 more cards to write on July 18th. Some things don’t change, writing my poem for the day before breakfast, and my commitment to write to everyone on my list, even though a couple years my health issues, or those of elderly parents challenged me, but cards were sent. Changes I appreciate: international postage stamps, receiving handmade cards, the growing number of participants and their enthusiasm. This practice has generated poems I’ve had published, including one in 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards, and postcard poems received that are treasures.

  17. Danita Smead

    The August postcard poetry fest (Popo) is an event for purist poets to dash off a daily practice poem, for budding verse-makes to learn and find support in a like minded community, and for visual artists, creatives, and a few weirdos to safely self-express in a space-restricted, mailable format. Sending and receiving these postal gems is a satisfying ritual.

    Danita Smead
    4 or 5 years


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