When I flex my muscle of empathy, I am capable of hearing not only your words, but also your humanity — Paul K. Chappell, Founder and Executive Director, Peace Literacy Institute
Confluence: my ongoing attempts to incorporate peace literacy into my ethics teaching, Paul E Nelson’s visit to and work with the International Peace Research Association, and the 2023 Poetry Postcard Fest.
A crucial part of peace work is the incorporation of art into the communication of shared humanity. You can see the incorporation of art into the work for peace in this year’s IPRA conference.
The arts give us access to, recognition of, and appreciation for different peoples and cultures.
One of the goals of writing poetry, as every postcard poet knows in his/her/their gut, is sharing what your world and mind look like, relating a different way of seeing. The goal of reading poetry is to open your eyes to different, unique, and yet utterly comprehensible ways of being human. Talk about sharing one’s own humanity and seeing the humanity of others!
This year’s Fest participants give us a chance to see and reach out to people from…well, a lot of places. There are 518 participants in this year’s fest, spanning 8 (seven!) countries across the planet: Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Within the U.S. the fest has participants from 44 different states. The top participant states are:
1. Washington State (125)
2. California (63)
3. Oregon (40)
4. Maryland (25)
5. Colorado and Texas, tied at 17
7. Florida, Massachusetts, and Ohio tied at 16
10. New York (15)
11. Alabama (14)
12. New Mexico (11)
13. Illinois (10)
We are going on this journey together, a journey that strengthens our empathy, appreciation, and curiosity about others. Postcard by postcard, we’re creating a web of peace, interest, and joy.
You’re part of this year’s journey, and as a fellow postcarder, how grateful I am for you!