Wish You Were Here…


How have your summer holidays been?  Boring, thrilling, nervous, exciting? Answers on a postcard, please.

Holidays are always a strange time, when we step outside our normal routines.  Travel can inspire us by jolting us out of the ordinary: exposing us to new tastes, smells, sounds and cultures. But staycations can be inspirational too.  There is the weirdness of a holiday job, selling icecreams or working in a bar, which brings with it a whole, distinct new set of rules and cast of characters.  The tension of waiting for exam results. Or just lazy days, slowing down and seeing your town (or sofa) in a different way.

I’ve always found I write most during my holidays, when I’m not supposed to be writing.  The muse enjoys vacations.

So, here at YPN we challenge you to write your own holiday-inspired ‘poem on a postcard’ .

You might address it to a particular person who you think would be interested in your holidays (‘Dear Nan’, ‘Dear Joe…’). You might think about some of the images that have made up your summer, like photographic snapshots.  But the main thing is: don’t just wish we were there, take us there with your words…

And when you’re done why not send it to a friend, or better yet submit it to one of the competitions on our Poetry Opportunities Page.

If you’re stuck for ideas take a look at our examples of postcard poems, with comments from Clare Pollard. These poems have been taken from last year’s Poetry Exchange, in which members of the Young Poets Network were asked to send us their postcard poems, in order to recieve another in the post, written by someone else. A kind of foreign exchange for poems!

See Examples of Poem Postcards

Gracie May Bawden’s Postcard Poem about London

Katie Beviss’ Postcard Poem about Dunwich Beach

Fergus Blair’s Postcard Poem about Brighton, UK

Joe Fraser’s Postcard Poem about Spain

Jenny Grimes’ Postcard Poem about Rambures Castle, France

Charlotte Higgens’ Postcard Poem about Hawaii

Faye Lipson’s Postcard Poem about Great Yarmouth

Sarah Lucas’ Postcard Poem about Wanderweg, Switzerland

Emma Yeo’s Postcard Poem about Knossos, Crete


Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard’s first collection of poetry The Heavy-Petting Zoo (Bloodaxe, 1998) was written whilst she was still at school, and she has just published her fourth collection, Changeling (Bloodaxe, 2011), which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her play The Weather (Faber, 2004) premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and her documentary for radio, ‘My Male Muse’, was a Radio 4 Pick of the year.  She recently co-edited the Bloodaxe anthology Voice Recognition: 21 poets for the 21st Century and is on the board of Magma poetry magazine.

Published August, 2011

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