The PenPal Project

Getting a letter in the mail is one of my absolute favorite things. The world is intense and stressful right now, and there’s a lot we can’t do to fix it. One thing we can do is bring more tiny joys into each other’s lives. More community. More slowness. More appreciation. More of our deep and true selves.

The PenPal Project has two goals:

1. Community and joy. I get a letter! You get a letter!
You also get a handwritten original poem!

2. Payment for poems. If you enjoy my work,
here is a fun way you can support it.

How does this work?

Write me a letter.

Step One

Include literally any denomination of cash or check to support my poetry.

Step Two

Receive a letter in return, plus an original poem.

Step Three

Post the letter to:

Tara K. Shepersky
c/o The PenPal Project
PO Box 228
Lake Oswego, OR, USA 97034

Details & Questions

What do you want to hear about?
Whatever is on your heart and mind that you would like to share. I’m here to listen, witness, connect.

Tell me what gets you through the days. Share the thing about the pandemic that’s surprised or challenged you the most. Tell me what you’re reading. Tell me about the weather and the season where you are. The creative project or local political project or course of study that excites you. Whose music you’d set your favorite poem to. The weird hobby you’d take up if money was no object. The unexpected thing that brought you joy or grief today. The personality quirks you love about your city, region, local river, etc.

Will you write back if I’m posting from outside the US?
Absolutely. I love international mail. I have some lovely global “forever” stamps all ready to go.

I don’t use US Dollars. Can I send other currency?
Sure. Euros, Pounds, Yen, Canadian or Australian or New Zealand Dollars, whatever you use is fine; I can change it. (And foreign banknotes are extra cool!) Cash or check are both fine. Let’s keep this simple.

I don’t do cash or checks. Can I pay you online?
If you must. :) I use cashapp; drop me a DM on twitter or a note through this website (there’s a form in the PDXpersky section), and we can make it happen.

Can I seriously support you in any amount? Is $1 ok?
Yes. $1 is brilliant. $20 is brilliant.

Words are work, and they’re important, and I want to place societal value on what I do. The way most of our societies communicate value is money.

My society is also terrible at distributing that money in anything like a just fashion, and no one should lack for connection, or for poetry, because they don’t have much. Send what makes sense for you. I will be pleased and grateful.