The basic idea is simple and does what is says on the tin: lends books of poetry via the post, for FREE, including the provision of a stamped self-addressed envelope for the borrower to return the book(s) within a month. Readers can either choose a specific title from the list, or request a poetry potluck and receive a surprise book.
I wanted to find a way of doing my bit…
The project was conceived and launched by local poet and performer Harula Ladd on January 1st 2021, and its catalogue has already grown from around 40 to over 130 titles! Many of the books are by local poets from the South West Spoken Word scene, but the list also features plenty of established and classic voices.
“Poets have been sending me copies of their books for free, for inclusion in the library. The enthusiasm and generosity has been incredible! In future, I would love to be able to buy books for the library, but I will need to secure funding before I can do this.”
The project was initiated with the specific intention of supporting readers and poets during lockdown and to connect people through poetry during these challenging times.
“It is my personal experience, and also my observed experience, that reading poetry is good for people’s mental health. There are many people struggling at the moment. They are lonely, grieving, anxious. I wanted to find a way of doing my bit, and thought poetry, sent to people’s doors would be fun. We could all do with more beauty arriving through our letter boxes after all!”
Harula also wanted to help encourage and grow a wider love of poetry and support those poets whose work she loves by helping to get their work out there.
There have already been some magical moments. One borrower was so inspired by the book she was sent that she promptly wrote two poems of her own! Something she hadn’t done for years! Another borrower, who is currently self-isolating due to a positive Covid test, and isn’t feeling well enough to read anything longer than a poem, turned to a random page in one of the books she’d been sent, and the title of the poem was ‘Recovery!’ She found that experience so magical, she immediately contacted Harula to let her know.
The project in currently being funded through donations sent directly, or through a dedicated GoFundMe page.
If you want to find out more you can check out the FB page Postal Poetry Library | Facebook
or get in touch with the library direct via email.