mary mail


Happy September! Life has been moving at the speed of a cheetah, not a snail. I am looking forward to getting back to the routines of paper mail- making, sending, receiving. And reflecting! That’s what this blog is for, to share with you the art and craft of paper correspondence.

So to kick off autumn and a recommitment to paper mail, we have a giveaway of the book, Mary & Me, A Lasting Link Through Ink, written by Mary Potter Kenyon and Mary Jedlicka Humston, who have been writing letters to each other though out their 30 year friendship.

Send me some paper mail and tell me a correspondence story of your own. The first mail I receive will win a copy of this lovely memoir. Two winners- you, who gets a book and me, who gets some mail!

Melissa Lohman-Wild Viva Snail Mail! PO Box 23 Kensington Station Brooklyn, NY 11218

shirley mail

Shirley Chisholm! This is a clip from the documentary Chisholm 72: Unbought and Unbossed which I strongly recommend. As our nation’s first African American Congresswoman and the first African American woman to run for President, Chisholm is a hometown heroine here in Brooklyn.


Shirley Chisholm on a stamp! This portrait is by American painter, Robert Shetterley, from his series, “Americans Who Tell the Truth.” He started the paintings after the Bush Administration’s response to September 11th, 2001 because he felt compelled to exalt Americans who inspired him. So glad Shirley is part of that crew.

Buy the stamps. Send Shirley Mail!


Last month we went to Honk!, a festival of activist streets bands in Somerville, MA. It was excellent! Brass bands from around the country, and a few from overseas, descended for a weekend of noise and fun. This one, Extraordinary Rendition Band, is from Providence, Rhode Island and they were so good.

erb2erberb3 Like the tuba player’s Marilyn Monroe postage stamp tights?

Like how I brought it back to mail?

jail mail

Herman Wallace spent 41 years in solitary confinement, in a 6′ x 9′ cell at Angola Prison in Louisiana. In 2001 artist Jackie Sumell wrote him a letter and asked him to imagine his dream house. A correspondence started, which developed in to a creative collaboration. The documentary film “Herman’s House” chronicles their story.

Herman Wallace died on Friday.

Cather Mail


Author Willa Cather‘s never before seen letters were recently published as a book. Javier Jaén Benavides used the 1973 Willa Cather postage stamps to create a simple but perfect illustration to accompany the write up in the New York Times Book Review. These stamps were included in my postage stamp inheritance from Grandpa Sidney. Nice to see them revived, in remembrance of an American treasure like Cather.

Holiday mail

So far I have received three Holiday cards by post- a promising sign. Even though Holiday cards can feel like one more obligation in a season of over-extension, Buck Up!

Meanwhile my cards are not yet made OR mailed. So how’s that for practicing what I preach? I did, however, buy Hanukkah stamps, Kwanzaa stamps, and Christmas stamps for this Saturday’s MAKE MAIL! card making workshop for kids. So I’m just half a hypocrite.

Are you sending Holiday cards this year? Give me a pep talk, people!



This Saturday I am hosting a Make Mail! workshop, creating THANKS postcards. With collage, colored pencils, markers, and rubber stamps we’ll make postcards with the word THANKS and send them out to our favorite people, just in time for Thanksgiving. And to add to the experience I am currently making a music mix of songs with the words Thanks and Thank you in them. Its so fun! Any suggestions?


In anticipation of sending out valentines to my loved ones I am planning to buy some stamps online. The only overt LOVE stamps are the “king and queen of hearts”, which I used last year and the entirely unappealing, “pansies in a basket”. So I have narrowed things down to these two options.  Which ones should I purchase?

1. Julia de Burgos, who was a Puerto Rican poet and activist. Those two pursuits require passion, so maybe appropriate for Valentine’s day?

2. The Chinese New Year stamps. Those kumquats might just make some people have, um, loving feelings?

baby steps

Oy vey. I haven’t posted in quite some time. And that Mother’s Day card that I said I was going to mail to my mom? Its still sitting in an envelope on my desk, addressed but not sent because its big and requires a trip to the post office. My new gig as a mother of 2 has made both a trip to the post office and writing a blog entry seem insurmountable. But I LOVE sending mail and posting here. It ain’t easy to find the time but I’ve got to make it happen, even when I am mostly always a tired mess. So I am re-committing, taking baby steps. I hope you’ll join me. Viva Snail Mail!

To kick off the inspiration, here are some photos by the lovely and talented iphone flaneur, Remy Steiner.