Margaret Lee Someone Else's Earth

Margaret Lee’s Old School Postcard Habit

June 26, 2023

From Margaret Lee:

My kids think I am hopelessly antiquated for sending email and actually reading the messages in my inbox every day. But when I double down on the whole retro mode and mail postcards, those cards end up on each recipient’s fridge for approximately 15 years. Even stupid cards. And ugly ones! Whenever someone new enters the kitchen they ask for the story – where did the card come from, who sent it, why. There’s something about a postcard selected and inscribed just for you. The handwritten scrawl, even when illegible, recreates a moment more effectively than a photograph, more vividly than a phone call.

I fell in love with the Poetry Postcard Fest 3 years ago and I am still head-over-teakettles. I tap my foot every summer until my group list arrives. I collect postcards all year long to use for the Fest. I have made many new postcard poet friends and have published poems that began as postcard poems. Above all, I treasure the cards I receive as tangible evidence of new friendships.

As a postcard poet, it thrills me to know that 31 specific people have committed in advance to being my audience and I feel privileged to be theirs. I think about the postal workers who handle thousands of postcards every summer for the Fest. I enjoy imagining that somebody’s mail arrives late every day because a letter carrier stopped en route to read a poem on the back of a postcard—and smiled. Our postcards spin a web of poets that reaches further than any of us could travel in a lifetime.

The Fest celebrates the pure delight of writing and sharing poetry, with guaranteed receptive readers and a cheerful stream of creativity flowing into hundreds of mailboxes! Registration is still open—I hope you end up on my list!



  1. StanleydelGozo/Prematar

    Thanks Margaret for being “old school”…when we moved to Deming NM 7 years ago, I was the only PoPo Person AND now there are three with the Deming zip code…We share our cards and enjoy the poetry postcard convening…I also tap my foot a bit until the lists come out…however, today I sent out my first two cards (June 26) just because I have all my old lists AND I know that at least a couple of people “haven’t moved”…blessings and have a beautiful creative uplifting poetry postcard summer…StanleydelGozo

  2. Denny

    My modus operandi is process and experimentation. I can’t seem to be happy just letting a postcard be a postcard. I always feel compelled to somehow alter the postcard itself or make a postcard & even alter that. I feel however that some of the idea is of a spontaneous writing practice that is meant to be done daily. Stanley with his admission that he has already sent two cards is motivating me to implement a thought about this years practice. I’m thinking to combine both practices. I can make experimental cards & send those now & then additionally write a piece on a postcard later, in august, as a daily practice. This year my plan is to write everyone on my list twice

  3. StanleydelGozo/Prematar

    Good thoughts Denny, about writing everyone twice…I solved that by signing up for my second group yesterday…so I have 62 days of writing during the “56 Days Of August” PS the two that I mailed today are bonus cards because neither of them are in my groups…:-)

  4. Chris Bodor

    I love this post and identifying as a die hard antiqued soul. I can relate. This will be my third year participating. I spend my summer lunch breaks writing a postcard or two and at the end of my break, I have to be finishing, because then I walk across the street to the post office and I send off my lunch break missive.

  5. Ross Savage

    A few things as I tumble through several days of hints, suggestions & reminders you’ve all posted here to guide us in the Postcard Poetry Fest fast approaching. . First, I’d like to address, Mr. L PEVEC, who realized his handwriting might be troublesome for readers. I can say I struggled. Since clarity is an issue, good luck with your efforts to write better, clearer. ️✒️. ➖ & to you Phil N. , our chief bottle-washer, factotum & guiding force , I’d like to offer, if needed , myself as an “extra writer” & resource for those who can’t commit to completing their lists for whatever reasons. As horses in the gate at the start of the race, let’s remind ourselves of our purpose which may be multi faceted. For me, fun is foremost. I want fellow participants to enjoy my cards. Given broadly construed “poetic license“, and we are poets for the month of August, remember, we are strangers to each other, so clarity in our writing is important … & w/ apologies to Captain Picard of the starship Enterprise, “Make it so!“

  6. Splabman

    Thanks Ross! I’ll tell Lawrence and Phil N. & your gauntlet has been thrown down to those having a hard time writing 31 poems. I will also give you the names of two poets open to receiving extra cards.

  7. C.J. Prince

    Denny and Stanley I have been making odd cards for two months and am trying experimental poetry. I joined this Wonder-full group of Paul’s in 2013. Many become extended poems…or I put them in a mesostic generator. Thanks to Paul for carrying the torch!

  8. Ross Savage

    Thanks Paul. . And my regards to Phil N.:-)! I remember the comment about meaning from long ago that it was meat the writer throws to the pursuing hounds … treating meaning lightly, holding it lightly, is well worth remembering. BTW, in looking over your suggestions, I came across the line from Borges in “To A Saxon Poet” ➖ the snowfalls of Northumbria, have known and forgotten the imprint of your feet ➖ I have that line taped to the lamp above my desk. How about that? Thanks once again for your guiding hand. Good luck to us all.✌️❗️

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

dashed cool colors line

You May Also Like

Poetry & Posole

Poetry & Posole

Poetry and Posole Cascadia Day Celebrate the power of the natural world and the magnificence of the Cascadia bioregion with us on Cascadia Day, May 18th! In honor of the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, Cascadia Poetics Lab will be hosting a Poetry and...

Mapes Creek Blessing

Mapes Creek Blessing

Some photos and notes from the April 27 2024 Blessing of Mapes Creek facilitated by the Cascadia Poetics Lab in Rainier Beach.

Cascadian Zen Audio from Vancouver Reading

The Cascadian Zen editors are on the road again. This Tuesday, (APR 30, 2024) at 6pm, we close out National Poetry Month in style with a reading at Broadway Books in Portland. Details here:...