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Postcard Poems

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$18.50 at ($22.95 from other booksellers)
ISBN number: 978-1-937968-88-5
Release date: July 15, 2021

From the publisher:

In days before selfies and social media, postcards were a ubiquitous feature of travel, providing both means of communication with friends and family while away, and souvenirs of journeys once back home. Even if not quite gone, they seem more than a little nostalgic now, as do many of the poems in Jeanne Griggs’ new collection, Postcard Poems. By choosing to present her poems as short notes that could fit on a postcard, she has opted for a formal brevity; and the conceit of holiday communication allows her to write both about place (so that her poems are often both ekphrastic and epistolary – a neat trick) and about the people in her life. Travel, of course, is always a journey through both exterior and interior spaces, physical and mental, and we witness both in these often wistful poems. A visit on Cape Cod with friends, “women of a certain age”, affords an opportunity to “live like in the books, / without any of the fuss / of having to sustain anything / except ourselves.” Children grow up over the span of these travels, despite her wishing she “had caged” them, holding onto the past. A third visit to Niagara Falls is the first without her son – “the first time / you were too young to remember / and the second too old to want / to come along” – who is now far off in Siberia on travels of his own. Iowa is a place equally exotic, known only “from watching a baseball movie / … until we left our daughter / there”, and they drive long out of the way to visit the Field of Dreams site, “And it was there, / just like we’d seen it, / in real life.” Stopping “South of the Border” she buys “picture postcards of this place on the way / to where we’re actually going.” That’s a good description of the mosaic of life that is constructed out of these brief notes, a chronical of stops along the way until, in the final poem, “all future plans suspended… / we are / still saving up from our last trip.”

Praise for Postcard Poems:

Sly as memory, Jeanne Griggs’ Postcard Poems are journeys in miniature. The poet issues an invitation to join in “casting aside our inhibitions / like layers of clothing, extraneous / in the bloodwarm Louisiana night.” Interlaken haunts, “its shadow a warning in the corner / of our midwestern American eyes.” Contrast Switzerland with downtown Akron, where a chess player shoulders “an open backpack full of cereal.” Postcard Poems is a collection of insight and delight.
–Sarah Sarai, author of That Strapless Bra in Heaven

Jeanne Griggs’ Postcard Poems is a clever twist on the ancient art of letter-writing, with each brief, graceful message a meditation on place, time, and travel. As Griggs moves from destination to destination, moment to moment, we begin to appreciate how lucky we are to live on this endlessly fascinating planet, and more importantly, how lucky we are to be able to connect with others across the miles. Sit down and become an armchair traveler, as this lovely book takes you from the beaches of Waikiki to the vales of Lauterbrunnen, and beyond.
–Eric D. Lehman, author of 9 Lupine Road and New England Nature

In Postcard Poems, Jeanne Griggs presents a family travel album. These vacation notes take us to iconic destinations, out-of-the-way downtowns, beach rentals, bookstores, art museums, and two-star motels. We hear the voice of a speaker longing to taste stale Cheerios and sip hot tea, watch the children wade in the surf, and make the distances between long ago and yesterday a little more tolerable. Griggs crafts a quiet cadence of absence to say: “Here I am now, missing you.” In the end, this collection helps the traveler in all of us realize that we are never “just visiting.” We piece together the narrative of our life’s travels one postcard at a time.
—Amy Nawrocki, author of Mouthbrooders and The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory.

Review at SavvyVerseAndWit

Review at Postcards from La-La Land

Review at Roof Beam Reader

Review at Whispering Gums

Jeanne Griggs is a reader, writer, traveler, and ailurophile.

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