About Poetic Postcards

Creative Writing and Visual/Digital Art students at SJSU will collaborate and create “poetic postcards” that imaginatively integrate visual art and literary text to tell stories about San Jose. 


Poetic Postcards Design Content

Students from across disciplines as well as the greater San Jose Public are invited to attend a series of workshops to help translate their personal experiences of living/working in San Jose into visual form that can be adapted into a postcard format.  

The workshops will culminate in a design contest that runs from Nov 1 - Dec 3 2021. The contests will return 10 wining postcard designs.  

In the Fall 2021, the Thompson Gallery will feature an exhibition of ‘correspondence art’ mailed to the gallery or dropped off to the kiosk. A digital exhibition of submitted designs (hosted by San Jose Story Map) will go live at the same time. 

Submit Your Work

Spring 2022 Contest Dates

Submission Guidelines

10 winning postcard designs will be printed for an exhibition hosted by the Thompson Gallery in Fall 2021 - Spring 2022. Submission Instructions Here

Submissions to the Poetic Postcards will automatically be entered into several related contests that will be released to the public in Spring 2022:

Poetic Postcards extends the 2019-20 Wish You Were Here project in a new and cross-disciplinary direction. The San Jose Story Map and the book of Poetic Postcards will be released at a public awards ceremony in Spring 2022.

Poetic Postcards Creative Workshops

The Poetic Postcards project will organize a series of workshops in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. Each workshop will be led by a San Jose based writer and artist who will provide inspiration, ideas, tools and techniques for imagining San Jose.  These workshops will provide inspiration, ideas, tools and techniques for imagining San Jose. 


Please Join us for the Fall 2021 Poetic Postcards Workshops

What San Jose is to you? Is it an iconic place? A life experience? A memory? A frame of mind? How would you capture something essential about the city on a postcard? 

Join artist Emilio Banuelos and writer Sally Ashton who will lead a group of SJSU student writers and artists to consider just that. 


Workshop: Sept 24th 10-12pm

Register (Free & Open to All SJSU Students)

In this generative workshop you will have a chance to work together in a group and in pairs, if desired, to create collaborative postcards to contribute to the San Jose Story Map project. Generative prompts will help get you started.

Suggested prompts for stories:

You'll need: a well-charged cell phone, paper and pen/pencil.


Feedback Session: Nov 19th 10-12pm

Register  (Free & Open to All SJSU Students)

Share your progress and receive feedback on your work. Find support, critique, and a way to put it all together. 

The emphasis of this workshop is on creating an opportunity for personal exploration that enables participants to document their community using their unique voice.  Participants should be prepared to work with a sense of visual curiosity in order to extend the limits of their approach to storytelling.



About the San Jose Story Map Project

Poetic Postcards grew out of a series of brainstorming sessions with the Natalie & James Thompson Gallery and faculty from Art & Design departments at San Jose State University about ways to meaningfully connect the themes from the San Jose Story Map with the visual arts while sheltering in place. 

The San Jose Story Map uses the power of stories to reveal San Jose in a new and different light. Contest entries must be original literary or artistic compositions relating to San Jose:

We welcome stories that explore San Jose’s hidden histories, unheard voices, diverse communities, and dynamic neighborhoods. A special, themed category called “Covid Chronicles” has been introduced for stories written while or about sheltering in a place in San Jose while Sheltering in Place. For contest details and submission guidelines see the San Jose Story Map website.

Led by Revathi Krishnaswamy (English & Comparative Literature, SJSU) & Rhonda Holberton (Digital Media Arts, SJSU), The San Jose Story Map project is part of SJSU’s Deep Humanities Initiative. This project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org.


Here is how our story will unfold.

Need help with a submission? Contact us at help0jstorymap@gmail.com