Ina 7.13.2023 postcard

Poetry Postcard Fest 2023: Statistics, People, and Peace

July 13, 2023

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 (eight!) 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!

(See 2022 stats here.)


  1. Mel Edden

    I love how diverse it is!

  2. Mel Edden

    I love how widespread it is!

  3. Danita Smead

    Since I spend a fair amount of my life doing ‘art’ projects, I really appreciate the stated connections made between peace, art, shared human experience and opening of our minds.

  4. StanleydelGozo/Prematar

    Alo-HA Paul et al…7 countries, 517 participants…greeeat job to all of us for this “world influencing process” one postcard at a time….I sing NAMASTE to us all…StanleydelGozo Deming NM

  5. Emily Bernhardt

    Got my first card today! What a treat to be part of this adventure.

  6. Jade Li aka Lisa Fox

    Paul, what a beautiful articulation of sharing poetry with each other. Thank you for what you do in bringing us all together for peace literacy.

  7. Ina

    I’m afraid these are my words, rather than Paul’s, but I think we share this vision.

  8. Shelly T

    My aim is to see Iowa listed as one of the top participating states some year!
    Thank you to all who have a generous hand in making this festival happen.
    Talk about postal BLISS!

  9. Splabman

    Shelly! My Dad was born in Council Bluffs and his Mom across the river in Omaha. How can I assist you in achieving your goal? Thank you for your postcard love and inspired participation in the fest.

  10. Splabman

    Jade Li, Ina gets the credit for this!

  11. Shawna Swetech

    Every postcard I send is art, words, and a greeting to the other with peace and love. I imagine the other poet as I write their name and address, and just want to uplift them in however their world is at that moment. His is my third year… absolutely and totally adore everything about the process. Such a gift in this strange world!!!

  12. Neal Lemery

    A tying together, a holding of hands with strangers who are now colleagues. This allows me to open my soul and be the change.

  13. Ross Savage

    My humble 10th floor richfield MN studio is transformed for the next weeks into a veritable postcard factory. And cards from the history museum, art museums, local independent bookstores, and the quirky, collectible shops, sit on the working table, along with magazines, the packaging tape, scissors, straight edge, Cartoon cut outs, art master stickers, inspirational books, scotch tape, address labels, US mail stamps, and washi tape all await the moment when we collectively converge & connect with you folks on my list. Cheers All!

  14. msjadeli

    Ina, I apologize for thinking Paul wrote the above. I don’t see you as author anywhere, or is this your blog? Please help me understand.

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