A Little Bit About Puzzle Pieces: New Poetry by Post
In recent months, I’ve been thinking a lot about those evenings we spent in a circle of chairs on the top floor of frumpy old Abilene Hall. I miss the generosity of that gathering and the way we all grew in understanding that year because of the wealth of time we dedicated to probing the puzzles of one another’s writing and treasuring the gems of genuine self-disclosure hidden there. I miss that space where everyone’s stories were taken seriously and lovingly examined from all angles and challenged and chewed on and cheered on. I miss that weekly gift of ourselves.
Since the conclusion of the workshop days, I’ve continued to write and occasionally publish poetry, just as I’ve been doing since I was about 18. Poetry has long been the highest and fondest art form for me and the one I turn to to give words to the things that lie far beyond our borders, hidden in the no man’s land of music and mystery. But something is missing now.
It’s just what it sounds like: every month, I’m writing a completely new poem and printing limited, signed copies of it on handmade cotton rag paper and mailing them out in the post, accompanied by a little writer’s note. Recipients are encouraged to send responses straight to me by post if they want to and are also encouraged to send along one of their own poems for a focused reading and a reply from me. Because writing and exploring meaning and figuring out the world and living can be lonely things if there aren’t people alongside us. And I want to bring back the glorious old custom of paying full attention to people with the slow sincerity of snail mail. Reading poems online can be a source of great enjoyment and interest. Reading them in a printed literary magazine is, I think, even better. But receiving them in your mailbox straight from the writer is certainly best of all. I want to extend that to you.
The purpose of Puzzle Pieces is to connect people with the meaningful craft of poetry and to offset the interpersonal isolation of our time, so the majority of subscription costs really do go straight back into postage, packaging, and the handmade paper I use to print the poems. The subscription includes free global shipping as well, and anything left over helps to buy me the hours I put into creating these pieces each month.
If you’re intrigued by this new project, you can sign up or find out more here. If for any reason you need to use PayPal instead of a credit or debit card, you can also sign up for Puzzle Pieces via Etsy instead. The November poem will only be shipping until the end of the month, so be sure to sign up by November 30th if you don’t want to miss this very first installment.