Post-It Note Poetry Returns, 1st February 2021

Post-It Note Poetry (PINP), incepted in 2012 as a writing dare, returns for its 9th year in February 2020. Begun by writing partners, Adam Byatt and Jodi Cleghorn, the challenge was to write bad poetry on post-it notes for 28 days. From humble beginnings, it quickly caught the quirk and imagination of poets and non-poets alike across social media. Many foundation participants return each year to exercise their micro poetry muscles.

Curators of this year’s event, Jodi Cleghorn and Christina Hira, are excited about what awaits.

“I am in awe that what began by accident nine years ago is both a calendar event for seasoned Post-It Note Poets but something which grabs the imagination of new people who jump in to try it each year,” said Jodi, who published her debut cut-up poetry collection, Shades of Paradox in 2020. “Often for those new people, it is their first time playing with words poetically since they were teenagers. For the returning poets, it is very much like getting the band back together.”

This year PINP21 embraces the theme: “poets write poetry.”

 “The fear of living up to the title poet is one that often stops me from beginning in the first place” said Christina, whose debut poetry collection Her Webs was published in 2018. “As I was creating the image for this year’s PINP, I came across the 1980 dictionary by Funk and Wagnalls. The definition of a poet is as follows: One who writes poems. It isn’t one who writes good poetry, or one who writes poems every-day, or one who has a published book of poetry. No, just one who writes poems.”

“We invite everyone to be a poet in February,” said Jodi, “by letting go of value judgements or expectations, and just having fun with word.”

Curation duties will be split between Instagram and Facebook with Christina facilitating the challenge on Instagram and Jodi in the dedicated Facebook group.

Hashtag for this year’s event is #pinp21


The philosophy behind Post-It Note Poetry is simple:

  1. To encourage people of all skills sets and persuasions to explore and have fun with poetry – whether they are seasoned poets or curious souls attempting poetry for the first time.
  2. To create within a confined physical space (the size of a post-it note) as a positive limitation. It is also a way of making poetry composition possible for 28 consecutive days.
  3. To come together once a year as a community to write, read, share and amplify the joy of poetry.


The rules are simple for those who’d like to play along at home (at work, on the bus or in any of those in between places perfect for scribbling poetic words on small squares of sticky paper).

  • Write/build/create a poem every day of February*
  • Poems must fit on a post-it note (or be an equivalent sized poem – ie. no more than 8 lines on a larger backing).
  • Poems must adhere to the original light-hearted spirit of permission to write badly – in which poems can tackle serious content, but internal editors/critics all get a break over February.
  • Post poems to social media with the hashtag #PINP21
  • Follow the hashtag and enjoy what others are creating.

*or as many days as feels comfortable and capable for you.

For more information contact:

Jodi Cleghorn via Facebook

Christina Hira via Instagram @wild.dark.magic



Gretchie’s Gifts

Recently, I received a letter from a lifelong friend whom I haven’t seen in 10 years. Just the thrill of receiving an unsolicited note was a treasure, and I savored that surprise for hours before opening it to read what words she had shared with me on the page.

Receiving gifts from loved ones and strangers alike are just as powerful as what we might find inside. It is a validation of love, that someone out there is thinking of us, remembering us especially at a time when we are isolated, scared, and concerned about an invisible illness that threatens each and every one of us.

This is what I imagine children with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses feel every day.

Alone, isolated: will people remember me?

If the Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us anything in this unprecedented year, it’s that isolation and the fear of illness is very real, and sometimes the remedy we need is a reminder we are not alone.

Since 1981, I have been working with children who have battled illnesses, supporting them any way I can by bringing a little happiness their way, particularly during the holidays. But this year, with the pandemic affecting so many of us, I am concerned our children in need will be forgotten.

It’s understandable. I know in my own family, there is great concern about staying safe – not just for those of us who are in a vulnerable category, but also for others whose livelihood requires wellness.

And, I know many of you have been touched by Covid-19 directly, and some with heartbreaking consequences. We have been separated from being with our elders; in some cases, we have said goodbye to them over cell-phone calls and final facetime moments.

We cannot forget that the children in our hospitals, battling illnesses that we fear ourselves, need our love and compassion more than ever.

Thanks to my partners at The JAR Writers’ Collective, we have breathed new life into my collection of seasonal stories and essays, featuring “Gretchie’s Gifts,” the story that kicked off our most recent annual drive for toys and art supplies for children spending the holidays in the hospital.

I am offering this ebook collection, which includes a never-before-published story, for free during this holiday season. All we ask is that you consider an Amazon Gift Card donation to our Gretchie’s Gifts campaign. Your donation of $5 or more will help us reach our goal of purchasing $500 of gifts for each hospital we are supporting. This is, by far, the safest way to make sure the children receive the same gifts and art supplies that we have given them in the past.

Our first goal is to help the children at the Children’s Hospital at Sinai and the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, but if we are fortunate enough to receive donations exceeding our $1,000 goal, we will use that money for other children in need at other Baltimore-area hospitals.

Unlike other campaigns or drives that need to use some of the funds for operational fees, 100% of your donation goes to the children. Our purchases made through Amazon will be delivered directly and safely to the hospitals, without any additional processing or delivery fees. The JAR Writers’ Collective has waived all fees for the publication of this collection to ensure the children receive every penny of your donation.

You can make your donation in two ways.

  1. If you prefer to mail a gift card that you purchase in a store, you can send it to Rus VanWestervelt/Gretchie’s Gifts, PO Box 19081, Baltimore, MD 21284.
  2. If you choose to purchase a gift card online, you can order it at Amazon and send it directly via email to me (rus.vanwestervelt(at)gmail(dot)com).

All donations, which are audited and verified, should be received no later than December 10, 2020, to ensure we can purchase gifts for the children in time for the holiday season.

Please know, as well, that the donations we provide the hospitals are used throughout the year.

The feeling we get when we receive that unsolicited letter or gift in the mail brings us such comfort, even when we are healthy but concerned about the unrelenting and invisible tendrils of Covid-19 swirling around us. Certainly, the letter I received from my friend continues to bring me smiles and energy during these challenging times. Just imagine the joy that you can bring to a child during the holidays whose fears are both real and life-threatening. We cannot neglect the children who never chose to spend the holidays in the hospital. As we have said so many times about Covid, these diseases know no boundaries; they don’t care who you are or what time of year it is.

We ask that you join us here with Gretchie’s Gifts to let them know they are loved, they are not forgotten, and they have a community of supporters rallying around them in their hours of greatest need.

I hope you enjoy this collection of stories offering faith and hope to all during this time of year, and I thank you for your donation in bringing that same faith and hope to our children in need.

Peace to you always, and in all ways,


News: New Title and Cover Glimpse

We are very pleased to offer you a glimpse of the next JAR Collective publication.

HER FIRST REALITY, DARKNESS is the first in a series of eight interconnected mini novels from Jodi Cleghorn.

This series has its genesis over a decade ago. Known colloquially as “the birthpunk novella”, it had the working title of ENCURSION for several years and will go to press as HER FIRST REALITY, DARKNESS.

“The path of radical responsibility is one of facing the places where our unknowing is a catalyst for destruction.”
~ Alina

On the winter solstice, 51 years ago, snow bloomed red in Manhattan.

Six months later, a quiet epidemic sweeps the island on the hottest day in a century leaving less than 1% of the population clinging to a precarious existence.


Sylvie O’Brien has made a deal with The City’s most powerful Information Architect: Joseph will provide safe passage off the island in exchange for midwifery services for his wife. The only problem is natural birth is considered a crime against the state and Sylvie is only barely one step ahead of City authorities and the outlawed Deme.

In forgotten parts of the urban landscape, among those who have outlived their reproductive worth, Sylvie finds allies, enemies and the truth of her family’s involvement in the Red Winter.

Can she survive long enough to experience a life beyond the damage of the past? Or is some trauma impossible to outrun and outlive?

The full cover will be revealed on the new moon at the end of the month.

HER FIRST REALITY, DARKNESS launches December, 2019.

Pre-orders and links will be made available soon.

JAR on Holiday

We will be taking a break over July. Small Rebellious Acts of Creativity will be back in August, in a slightly altered format, and our weekly articles will also resume in August with the theme ‘The Next Story’. Take care until we cross paths again next month.

Jodi, Adam and Rus