2020 Wrap-up Poetry Postcard Fest DYNAMICS

September 28, 2020
by Ryukan

Kristen L. Ryberg

Second year PoPo enter-thoughts…

After signing up to two groups this year, I am struck by the connective energy our postcards, handwritten or not, carry to both giver and receiver; how even small scale knowing of another through these little glimpses produce real caring for that individual.
Intangible wishes for “no harm” are given form.
In a world of curated time, it is an act of generosity to take time.
Little epistles can move me from “Yo soy no existo”, only I know I exist, to another soul knowing I exist.
Despite electronic communication, my experience is that many people suffer from an unknown-ness on a deeper level.
To this end, I notice the healing potential of PoPo participation.
I am looking forward to Paul Nelson’s workshop “Poetics as Cosmology” as a continuation, not only of the organic process, but as exploration of the link within myself that is also beyond me.

On to process:

Do not get me going on the optional crafting of the image for the card. It happily justifies my interests in photography, collage, drawing and introduced me to fascinating processes like using transparencies Tim Mateer! or encaustic like Lawrence Pevec!

In the spirit of deep play, paper and fabric has been stitched, taped, sketched, sanded, pasted, tea-bags saved, stamped etc..
Every piece of junk-mail has creative potential yowzzz !!

I am learning to let go of my crafted cards, practice generosity, to trust the concentrated spontaneous form, which does not equal quick, but does equal sending out first drafts.
“O.K… truth, ½ the time I work on scrap paper before writing on the card!”

This year I replied to some cards using the first line of the sender’s card to start with, along with ekphrastic journeys.

It forced me to learn an app called Flipsnack https://www.flipsnack.com/ as a way to place my PoPos in an electronic flipbook.

I have found my tribe. It’s enlarged my poetry/art life. In just 2 years, have amassed a collection of powerful art/poem gifts to delight in.
The receiving end feels like love.

Art heals, poetry heals, shopping for vintage cards heals, all of it, and connecting to our Facebook collective keeps a supportive conversation in play. Love when other’s cards are shared.

Remember holding album covers, looking at the art—reading the words as the record played, the synergy of the senses? For me, receiving a PoPo is similar but exceptional in that it is a “one of” and arrives in my mailbox not long after the maker has created it.

Namaste’ and love to everyone in this group and Paul Nelson for engaging us all—-supportively steering the submarine!

We need all paths to peace possible. This is a good one!


  1. Andrew M. Bell

    What a lovely wrap-up, Kristen. And cards come with love from us in Aotearoa/New Zealand to you in the Land of the Orange=-haired Crazy Man.

  2. Donna WetzbArger

    Wrap up for 2020: two practices I have used the past two years in POPO.
    This year while staying at home I decided to use the addresses of my POPO group as a way to expand my world. With each person I would research their town and area to learn as much as I could about their environment. I would check online resources so readily available now, just a click.
    Next I would review all my available cards to match one with the person’s name and place. I expanded my world with a name and address! I even added places I would like to visit based on this process.
    The second practice which I followed last yeAr was to review all cards received and then create a “best of category” for each card. This is An Academy Award, so to speak, which I used in film studies classes I taught where students developed their personal awards for films we studied and viewed in class.
    I altered the categories to fit the poems and postcards. Examples would be most original and best use of humor. Every card received an “award” and if I do it in the future, I will notify the poet of their honor.
    Thanks! I would love to read other practices people have tried.

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