Read this sweet article! In Melbourne, Australia the city assigned email addresses to their trees so people could report problems. But instead, tree enthusiasts wrote love letters to their favorite trees. Thousands of them. And the trees wrote back!
In this instance email is probably a better medium for communication than paper, unless one uses recycled paper. I mean, would you try to woo a cow by taking it out for a steak?
I received a seriously good birthday gift from my husband, a print by the very talented Stephen Powers! I have been a fan of Powers since way back in the 1990’s when he was known as the graffiti artist, Espo. In 2009 I wrote a post about his love letter to Philadelphia mural project and I recommend a great, companion movie to the murals, A Love Letter for You, directed by my friend Joey Garfield that you can view on iTunes.
So to bring it back to snail mail, Powers made greeting cards! And they’re rad. Buy this excellent boxed set of 12 greeting cards as a holiday gift. Just make sure the recipient has someone to send the cards to- they’re all pretty flirty.
Are you a fan of Story Corps? I am. And it seems that USPS Stamps is too, as they rolled out something similar called The Love Letters Project, in time for Valentine’s Day. I enjoyed listening to these audio recordings and hearing people’s very personal correspondence stories. I hope the series continues and that the producers of this admirable project cast a wider story net. All 5 stories are about white people and that does not reflect our incredibly diverse citizenry.
I am gearing up for valentine making season, one of my favorite times of year. I just ordered these valentine stamps on usps.com for upcoming workshops. Designed by USPS art director Antonio Alcalá and illustrated by Q. Cassetti, they were inspired by a form of scherenschnitte, the traditional German art of cut paper illustration, called liebesbriefe. Liebesbriefe are ornately cut and painted love letters. I could not find many examples on the internet. If you know about liebesbriefe, let me know! This one from 1809 was on the site, Free Library of Philadelphia, where you can read more about this intricate love letter.
Scherenschnitte means “scissor cuts” in German and there are so many incredible scherenschitte boards on Pinterest. Take a look! And then perhaps buy some exacto blades and give it a try.
You HAVE to listen to this NPR story about the Juliet Club in Verona, Italy. Yes, the home of that Juliet who loved a young man named Romeo. So wonderful. Photo courtesy of the Juliet Club, aka il Club di Giulietta.
I think this fantastic mailbox embellishment may be the work of the women behind Good Mail Day but in the un-credited world of the internet jpeg, I am not certain. In any case I LOVE it!
My family got several hand delivered valentines- so sweet.
The handmade cards, of course, slay me but I am also so fond of this store bought card that my son got from a friend at school.
But by post the yield was small this year. Good thing I got valentine mail on Wednesday and Friday because on Thursday, Valentines Day, all there was in my mailbox was a real estate brochure and a credit card bill. I was actually quite depressed. But then I remembered that whole ‘better to give than receive’ thing and all the other blessings in my life and I stopped pouting. Thanks so much to all the people who gave us a little paper affection this year.
Are you familiar with the paper mail project that is The World Needs More Love Letters? It is the brainchild of Ms. Hannah Brencher and the basic idea is for people to send love letters to strangers.
A few years back Brencher started writing love letters and leaving them in public places in New York City to be discovered and appreciated. This initial project quickly grew into coordinated efforts by groups of people to write bundles of love letters for strangers who could benefit from some postal love.
Right now they are asking for love letters for baristas in the busy holiday season. Explore the site to find all the ways that Brencher’s lovely idea has blossomed.
Photo courtesy of moreloveletters.com.
Today is my favorite paper mail holiday. And the results of extensive advanced planning are good. Between what was made by kids in my valentine workshops, by my own children, and by me I sent out 75 pieces of mail!
I am happy to report that my family and I also received valentines, which are hanging in our kitchen window. And I have been getting mail from readers-thank y’all so much. AND I have received 2 letters so far from the Rumpus’ Letters in the Mail subscription. The first was a 2 page rant from Margaret Cho and started out, “Dear Rumpus, This is what I think about eating on planes.” The second arrived yesterday. It’s a 1 page cartoon story by Dean Haspiel about a bar here in Brooklyn called Montero’s. For those of you who have watched the HBO series, “Bored to Death”, the character played by Zach Galifianakis is based on Haspiel.
Subscribe! Its fun to get short forms of writers’ work delivered to your mailbox.
There is a piece by Geoffrey Gray in today’s New York Times Magazine about a man and woman who fell in love by way of letter writing. Damien Echols was on death-row in Arkansas. Lorri Davis was a landscape architect living in Brooklyn. After seeing him in the 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Davis wrote to Echols, setting off a correspondence that changed both their lives profoundly. Read their epic love story here.
My family and I recently went on a fabulous vacation to Philadelphia. We had a great time and among the gems in that city is a gallery on Arch Street called Space 1026, which was having an exhibit of Charles Schulz’s love letters. Yeah, the Peanuts guy. His letters were written in the early 1970’s to a Philadelphia native named Tracy and he was so into her that he longed to bleep her nose and reminisce about a hug at a bookstore. It was such a benign collection of asexual writing and drawings that my childhood image of Peanuts and their creator has remained intact.