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Postal poetry

Poet reflects on daily mailing ritual

Mail Poetry
For some, a trip to the mailbox isn’t routine.

For many, a daily trip to the Post Office or mailbox is routine. For poet Micah Ling, it’s part of her art.

Last April, Ling began mailing a poem every day to The New Yorker magazine. She reflected on the experience in a recent essay for Volume 1 Brooklyn, an online literary journal.

“I’ve had a fascination with the mail for a long time — the stamps, the carriers, the collections boxes on street corners: it’s always seemed archaic and wonderful,” Ling wrote.

She describes how her project took her to Post Offices and mailboxes across New York City. “As I wrote, and sent, I learned things I never expected to learn, about the city, and the postal system.”

Ling, who also teaches at Fordham University in the Bronx, also notes how mail has played an important role in culture and art for centuries, including the Pharaohs of Egypt and the empire of Ghengis Khan.

“It will forever be exciting to peer into the mailbox and find something unexpected.”

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