Austin Peay professor connects with pandemic-distanced friends by sending original poems on antique postcards
(Posted July 7, 2020)
Andrea Spofford had 50 antique postcards, a typewriter and a plan.
A poet, essayist and Austin Peay State University associate professor of English, Dr. Spofford created her plan in mid-March, around the time most states shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As I thought about what it means to be socially distant, I also thought about how we make connections,” she wrote in Journal Nine recently.
Spofford announced the project on Facebook: “I have 50 antique postcards, a typewriter, and a plan. If you would like an original poem written by me and mailed by the USPS, message me a mailing address.”
Friends and families quickly claimed all the postcards, which she bought from an antique store she frequented during graduate school.
“I wanted to reach out, to make art and to continue forging those connections that were so suddenly disrupted,” Spofford wrote for Journal Nine.
She typed her poems on a collection of Curt Teich & Co. postcards from 1900-1940 that featured landscapes and national parks. She mailed them all over the country, from Clarksville to Arizona, Louisiana and California.
Journal Nine – the quarterly online poetry journal noted above – published several of the postcards and poems.
You can read about Spofford’s creative process and how she typed the poems without revision – despite her perfectionist needs – at https://www.journalnine.com//andrea-spofford.
To learn more about APSU’s Department of Languages and Literature, go to https://www.apsu.edu/langlit/.
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