MAIL ART

Prompt Against Anxiety #25 | from Siwar Masannat. Masannat is a Jordanian writer and the author of 50 Water Dreams (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2015). Siwar holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Their work has been or will be published in FenceLana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and OpinionBlack Warrior Review, and Under a Warm Green Linden.

Postcards-finished

I admit I haven’t been writing lately. In order to ward off the oldnew anxiety, I’ve been doing arts and crafts on Saturdays. So this prompt will be about DIY gifts.

I’ve been creating little postcards to send to friends. I am no visual artist, but I find that I can relax into playing with colors and shapes. I have a set of watercolor pencils and they are a lot of fun. On the back of the postcard, I include a note. I write to say hello, I quote a little poem, or I write a prayer or a joke.

To make your own postcards, you will need copy paper or a drawing pad, paint, cardboard or thick index cards, a ruler, a glue stick, and a pair of scissors or a cutting knife. I use a mat as a cutting surface, but you could use a kitchen cutting board, too. You may want to visit your local art supply store or buy your materials online from Jerry’s Artarama or Blick’s on sale.

Cutting-Board

According to USPS, a First-Class mail postcard must be:

  • Rectangular
  • At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inches thick
  • No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick

I find this size constraint quite nice to work with.

unnamed

You can use whichever kind of art making tool you already have. Or you may want to experiment with collage or photography, or use pages from a coloring book.

postcard

Back in the summer I bought some stamps in solidarity with USPS. They have $0.35 First Class postcard stamps with lovely coral reefs on them and I’ve been using those. If your handmade postcard does not meet the dimensions above, USPS will treat it as a letter, so you must then use a regular First Class Forever stamp that costs $0.55.

Prompts Against Anxiety is sponsored by Milwaukee Public Library, an anchor institution that helps patrons read, learn, and connect—to our resources and our community. Now more than ever, stay connected, stay home, and stay safe. 
MPL

More from this series

EKPHRASIS YOURSELFPrompt #27—Jennifer Nelson

POETRY IS FOR THE PEOPLEPrompt #26—Angela Trudell Vasquez

MAIL ARTPrompt #25—Siwar Masannat

VISUAL POSTCARDSPrompt #24—Portia Cobb

A [LONGER-TERM] DEEP LISTENING PROMPTPrompt #23—Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Humor as Medicine for the SoulPrompt #22—Mauricio Kilwein Guevara

Personification: A Social Justice PromptPrompt #21—Derrick Harriell

Ponge ExercisePrompt #20—Tyrone Williams

Occult DocupoesisPrompt #19—Kimberly Alidio

Junk Drawer SongPrompt #18—Hoa Nguyen

TALK TO THE POETSPrompt #17—Stacy Szymaszek

Make-Do Origin Stories & Concrete FuturesPrompt #16—Ching-In Chen

The Family PhotographPrompt #15—Rosa Alcalá

Note(s) to SelfPrompt #13—Stacy Blint

Embracing ConfusionPrompt #12—Bryon Cherry

Writing/Playing the ArchivePrompt #11—Jay Besemer

CAPTURED & FREEDPrompt #10—Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Poetic Exit StrategiesPrompt #9—Ana Božičević

Proyecto ConbífPrompt #8—Erick "CK" Ledesma

TRILOGYPrompt #6—CA Conrad

Utopian CompromisePrompt #7—Paul Druecke

A Series of RoomsPrompt #5—Laura Solomon

Two Variations on N+7Prompt #4—Jenny Gropp

T H E A P A R T / TOGETHERPOEMPrompt #3—Margaret Rozga

An Exercise in WindowsPrompt #2—Marla Sanvick

Erasuring AnxietyPrompt #1—Peter Burzynski

We acknowledge that in Milwaukee we live and work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homelands along the southwest shores of Michigami, part of North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. 

We further acknowledge the grave evil colonialism introduced to these lands ​through genocide as well as slavery, and also via racist and xenophobic ​beliefs, laws​, and practices that continue to inflict harm upon Black, Brown, and Indigenous lives. We honor those who have lived—and do live, now—at these intersections of identity and experience, and are committed to the active dismantling of white supremacy.

Read our statement on racial justice

720 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414 263 5001

Hours: Tues–Fri | 11-8pm

Sat & Sun | 12–5 pm | Closed Mon

Contactless pick-up: Wed–Fri | 2–6 pm, Sat | 2–5 pm


Building Accessibility: Despite the age of our physical location, and attendant limitations to access, Woodland Pattern is committed to making its programs and facilities available for as many as possible. Please call for more information.

Events Accessibility: Woodland Pattern is in the process of obtaining captioning services for its online events and can provide ASL interpretation for live events. Please contact us with accommodation requests and questions.

© Woodland Pattern 2020