What does a signature say about the writer? Whether it’s short and spiked, rounded and full, slanted at an angle, or perfectly vertical—either way, one’s handwriting may reveal something beyond the words—a tone, an intention, and of course, the person who wrote them. In a time of keyboards and touch screens, the visceral experience of putting pen to paper is unmatched, and recalls a time when the written word was just that—written. In celebration of National Handwriting Day today, we present a collection of postcards featuring handwritten advice from poets such as Rae Armantrout, Rita Dove, and Philip Levine, as well as archival images of handwritten letters and manuscripts from poets such as Ai, Seamus Heaney, Walt Whitman and more.

read poet postcards

read poets' notes and letters from our archive