Correspondence Co-op

I stumbled onto the existence of the Correspondence Co-op via a flyer at the SF Zinefest a few weeks ago. Postal nerds sending art through the mail to each other, how did I miss this group for so long? Tonight, we hunkered down in the basement of the main branch library, our passports open to accept the monthly meeting stamp designed by a member to commemorate the September 12th elopement of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. A table in the back groaned under the weight of excess stamps, stickers, paper, cards and it was difficult to hold back from sweeping the whole collagers’ paradise into my bag. A few members did a Show-n-Tell of mail they’d received in the last weeks, showing off elaborate accordion books, origami letters from the Netherlands, handmade zines of Chinatown. Our fearless leader, Jennie, showed off some samples of art that have been arriving for the mail/art/book project she’s curating. Tales of postal mishaps were swapped, including the heroic efforts of one member to gather her building’s mail every few days from the postal Annex after the USPS drilled the lock off their building box then refused to deliver to the unsecured location. Jennie held up a letter triumphantly, excited to have received mail from one mail artist. Another member casually mentioned that she’d taken (“stolen”) a lot of the mail he sent to a local museum while she was working there because no one cared to read it. These are the people that will save the USPS, one postcard at a time. I’m looking forward to upping my mail-game with this creative crew. I especially need their infusion after this week’s pitiful haul at the PO Box– a thank you note, a collaborative art project, and a typed letter from my sister. Typed! Ack! (To her credit, she starts the letter with “Ick a typed letter.”