Soon registration will open, lists will be issued and poems and postcards will slip into the mail. But until the action begins, this is a great time to stock up on postcards, stamps, etc.
POSTCARDS: Some people send the same postcard to everyone on their list; others follow a more random system or no system at all. Museums and tourist centers may be the most reliable place to find postcards, but there are plenty of other options. Look for bags or bins of cards in thrift stores and used-book stores. Check the local antiques shop. Look online. Browse garage sales. And of course you can make your own!
STAMPS: Please bear in mind that the August Poetry Postcard Fest is an international project and some of the people on your list will likely reside in a country other than your own. Outside the U.S., please check your postal service for local rates (Canada here.). Mailed from and to U.S. addresses, standard postcards (up to 4-1/4″ x 6″) take 34-cent stamps; cards larger than that take 47-cent (letter rate, “Forever”) stamps. Postcards mailed from the U.S. to addresses outside the U.S. take $1.15 stamps. (It appears that USPO rates will hold steady through the 2016 Fest.)
ETC.: While many postcarders use the image on the card as inspiration, others like to begin with some other prompt, such as a quote, a line from a poem, an image, a found word or object, etc. If you enjoy working that way, this is a good time to fluff up your collection. The ETC. category also includes pens, return address stickers (the clear ones are great) and some way to keep track of your outgoing and incoming postcards (more on that another day).
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image: Paul Nelson’s postcard collection (posted on Facebook)