This slow morning, the cat gets us up with his insistent meowing to be fed. J. and I take care of the animals, then recline on the couch for coffee.

We watch the snow slanting out of a purple-grey sky and talk about narrow-boating in Yorkshire canals (reminiscing over the ‘journey’ we went on during our evening ‘travels’ last night). Want to join in? Here it is:

 

What strange days these are, aren’t they?

For me, outside of the anxiety over the pandemic, not too much has changed: I’ve started writing a poem a day(ish) through NaPoWriMo and am writing in community through daily live-streamed sessions on my Facebook group, Write Ramble. And now, I’m doing what I can to help support books and authors in these historical and challenging times through a new venture, the Pandemic Response Reading Series.

Titles come to me quite easily, and this one flew into my mind a couple weeks ago as I watched writers speaking online about their new spring books with a mix of happy and sad emotions.

Happy because, you know, here they are, in the world!

Sad, because there is no way to do a launch, have cake, celebrate the years of hard work that goes into turning the stuff in the mind into a beautiful, physical object to share with others. No way to share one’s words and speak about how they came to be.

So, the Pandemic Response Reading Series was born and we already have two events scheduled for this month: launches of two fantastic poetry collections.

Check out our shiny new webpage, for details and instructions on how to easily attend over video conferencing (let’s “pack the house,” as it were!) and please ‘like’ our Facebook page to stay connected!

And now, I return to doing the day’s tasks in these slower times: J. is out walking the dog and I’ll do my 10 a.m. writing, wash the dishes, pour another cup of coffee.

I hope that for you life is tolerable and that, even amidst the uncertainty and the stress, you are finding moments to rest and appreciate glimmers of hope in the spring or, as Mary Oliver writes: “those fuming nuggets of joy.” (Our rhubarb is up!)

And I hope that you will come and enjoy some poetry with us, and other stories, soon!

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