Tag Archives: Kundiman

We are all April Fools, but some of us are looking in our mailboxes.


NPM_LOGO_2008_finalApril and National Poetry Month are upon us again.  To jump start my running-on-two-years dormant writing efforts, I and 19 other Kundiman fellows have committed to another postcard poetry exchange this month.  We have names.  We have addresses.  We have stamps.  We have postcards and we’re ready to go, starting today!

Here are some general ground rules that can be used for your own poetry exchange, after you’ve recruited some willing participants and compiled a list of names and postal addresses:

  1. The challenge is to write one poem a day.
  2. Find your name on your group’s list.
  3. Write a poem that fits within the size of a postcard to the person listed below you.  You can buy, make or find postcards with images or without (with is more fun to receive).
  4. The next day (or the next time you write a poem), send it to the next person on the list.  e.g. Send the first poem to the person listed below your name on the list, the second poem to the person below that name, etc.  Keep cycling through the list every day, sending the last poem out on 4/30.  Or, for example, write 30 poems in one day, and send one out each day until 4/30.
  5. Your poem can have something to do with the postcard image or not at all.
  6. You can receive a poem from someone and decide to write a response poem  when you reach his or her name in your cycle–but that is just extra overachiever (though welcomed!) writing.  Your only challenge is to try to write a poem a day on postcards, sending them on down the list.
  7. Keep a copy (transcription, photocopy, snapshot, whatever) of what you wrote and, if possible, your image.  They will come in handy as poem drafts to revise or build upon or, perhaps, they are already awesome and it’s time to submit them for publication.

Or, stated another way (by Tim Yu), “[W]e each send a postcard to the person below us on the list, then move down the list each day after that, wrapping around to the beginning until we’ve sent one postcard to each person.  Then repeat until the month is over.  This way we insure that everyone (ideally) gets a steady stream of cards.”

Here are some of the postcards I’ve collected that will be going out to my list of recipients this month:

Linocat 002

Gocco Joy! A mini-chapbook bound and finished.


Gocco Chapbook CoverLong craft-deprived, I finally took this past weekend to crack the knuckles, pull out my Print Gocco and complete a chapbook project for twenty-one Kundiman fellows who exchanged poems written on postcards for the month of September 2007. Ten poets contributed their small-size poems.

Mini-chapbook gutsAfter months of mulling it over, conceiving of it and mostly just not getting around to it, I charged forward last weekend by visiting SCRAP, hoping to find some different papers or envelopes at rock-bottom, re-use prices. The warehouse had several reams of textured cover stock in a beige-type color. Not sexy, but I thought it’d contrast well with the ream of turquoise copy paper I got at Staples a few months back for the purposes of chapbook-making and paper projects in general.

Gocco bulbsFast forward one weekend later. I layed out and edited the interior of the booklet on Adobe Pagemaker on Saturday night, went to OfficeMax for double-sided copying Sunday morning. (Tip: OfficeMax offered color paper at the self-service copiers for the same price as regular white copy paper, but I did not partake as I’d already brought my turquoise paper). Sunday afternoon I created the Gocco-ready cover image, then flashed the screen with these Gocco bulbs pictured here as glistening still-life in the Sunday afternoon light.

Gocco printerStella Artois for Gocco SundayThe covers were printed on the Gocco using brown and pearlescent aqua inks.  Sunday night, albeit with an interlude at The Fillmore (Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks), I completed binding, with brown linen thread, an edition of 40 baby chapbooks for contributors, postcard writers and Kundiman-related folk. Other helpful project materials included a Stella.

Postcard Poems by Kundiman poets chapbook

The product specs for this little chappy, “Postcard Poems by Kundiman poets” ({bee + spool} press 2008): Dimensions 4.25″ (w) x 5.5″ (h). 16 pages.  Edition of 40.