A few years ago, I came across THE TRAVELER’S VADE MECUM on Twitter. It was a compendium published in 1853–a book of 8566 telegrams, all numbered so the sender wouldn’t have to pay by the word. I cherry-picked telegrams and sent them to poets working today, asking them to write a new poem using old telegram as title. Red Hen Press (bless them) picked it up and now it’s a just-published anthology of the same name featuring poems by Frank Bidart, Billy Collins, David Lehman and many generous others.
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