Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quarantine Report Week 1

Quarantine Week 1 : 16 March-23 March 2020
(I have decided to do a weekly quarantine reflection until the CoVid-19 wave "passes")

This week, from Iowa, where the government has not set into law the same official restrictions as many other states, we are already folded within our homes. Our home. My childhood home—in my parent’s house in the slip of what remains of the woods between I-80 and the Iowa River as one wends one’s way out of the center of Iowa City on Dubuque St towards the Coralville Reservoir. From here, we can hear the traffic blast past on the interstate like a rush of somewhat muted white noise while we watch the eagles who have nested along the bend in the river below the steep almost-cliff slopes beyond the slip of woods rise up through the still-leafless trees, into bright blue sky after the snows from Saturday have already melted.

Damp leaves needing raking stick to old tree trunks and wet grass. We go out. There is no one else in sight. Our feet leave prints in the soft earth. We watch chipmunks and squirrels, darting birds in preseason courtship. The deer who often come to lounge in the middle of the backyard have yet to pass by, and the hummingbirds, too, have not returned. There are no rabbits yet, either, though soon enough, I know, they will be bounding about everywhere in twos, then fours and sixes. There are, however, hints of rose-white buds at the tips of one tree: the promise of flowers and fruit to come.

And then we go inside. The news is on and there are reports and reports of reports and comments on reports. We watch the Task Force and their contradictions. We keep a keen eye on the worldometer, watch daily, hourly, as the numbers rise in every column. Even the recovered, you think. But the percentage of deaths has come up to 15 for resolved cases though the percentage of serious cases in the “active” box remains the same: 5%. I check China, France, Spain, the USA. I look farther down on the list. Looks pretty good in Nepal. We have never been to Nepal, not one of us. I suppose this is not the moment. In Iowa the number of cases strikes 90, then climbs. Today we are at over a hundred. But no deaths. Yet.

I watch my adoptive home town on the screen. In Mulhouse, France, there is the scramble for more doctors, nurses, beds, care. The hospital (off and on on strike since June 2019 because of a lack of ER staff Doctors and caregivers) is overwhelmed. It has been working over capacity for 3+ weeks now. Yet the town everyone has always said “where?” to has inched its way into the local newspapers, radio programs, TV spots from London to Iowa. In Mulhouse, we see, the military begins to airlift patients to other parts of France. The military is constructing a massive outside tent-hospital in the parking lot across from the regular hospital. No one I know is hospitalized. News pours in little by little of doctors passing away: 3 so far. Instagram videos of balcony serenades for medical staff go viral. Clapping in the dark under a sky of silence. Then, a friend writes, the roar of helicopters begins their nightly rounds.

I receive emails and text messages: “We are ok, but the news next door is not so good.” “We only have a mild case.” “We are working at home, feeling the effects, but will pull through.” Silence.

The first week of quarantine: people are (mostly) fine. They go out (too much). They do not really fear (going out) (getting it). Or they fear (everyone dying). Both (extremes). The apartments are cloying, tight, small, full of activity despite despair. “Too much to do” “To occupied with... to find the time for...” but the news shows more images of worsening conditions in Italy and Spain. We do not want that here. We see it coming. The worst thing about quarantine is... the list keeps growing. It is hard to know. From here, perhaps, the worst thing about quarantine is just waiting for the inevitable.

24 March 2020
Iowa City, IA, USA

This week on Self-Quarantine Lines, I have also posted various poems:
 *  To Poem Without Voice, for Margo Berdeshevsky (22 March): 
 *  Harbingers of Spring, for John Sears (18 March): https://selfquarantinelines.blogspot.com/2020/03/harbingers-of-spring.html

This week on Christophe Fiat's Instagram "Tea Time / Rien ne va plus" I was also invited alongside numerous authors from France and elsewhere to supply poems for the 21st of March 2020 World Poetry Day. I wrote 4 "Tea Time"s in French: which appeared on his instagram feed and were also republished as photos on his FB page, and they appear also on my own.

Sunday, March 15, 2020


Photo credit: Design winner KOALADESIGNER from 99 designs logo contest

Going stir crazy, even though your self-quarantine has only lasted 5 minutes and normally you would have spent all day, or all weekend, alone, reading, writing, watching netflix, painting, drawing, emailing or playing video games anyway? 

There is something about the obligation not to go to the movies, theater, shopping, etc that makes us want to go. But no, can't, so... I suggest we all find ways to leap into the dialogue. To not go stir crazy, to not over obsess. To not lose hope.

Starting today and hopefully soon including LOTS of other authors, I have created the blog  SELF QUARANTINE LINES  which are, in fact:
"Self-Quarantine Lines" 
"Lines in a Time of Quarantine" 
"Pandemic missives"
"Corona Compositions"

In short,15 authors, to start, on this, the 15th of March 2020, have been invited to "join" and to begin posting. With their help and suggestions of others, in the coming week we will hopefully get the number of official authors up to the blogger maximum. 

BUT check out the comments options: YOU, too, if not on this year or not sure you want to be, can post poems, fragments, mini stories, or whatever onto the posts that appear in the coming days and weeks. 

I am hoping this will be a way to keep up the morale, the dialogue, the livliness of expression not only in one voice, but across voices, places, and time zones in these, our quarantine times. https://selfquarantinelines.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 09, 2020

Poetry Atlanta Reading10 March with Lisa Pasold and Jennifer K Dick reminder

10 MARCH 2020
3772 Lavista Rd, Tucker, Georgia

Poetry Atlanta presents Lisa Pasold and Jennifer K. Dick. Lisa’s new book entitled The Riparian is a poetic narrative, and Jennifer’s Lilith: a novel in fragments. Colin Kelley will host. Event is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Northlake Library, in their meeting room. Books will be available to purchase and have signed. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Lisa Pasold is a writer originally from Montreal, now based in New Orleans. Her 2012 book of
poetry, Any Bright Horse was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. Her first poetry collection, Weave, was called “a masterpiece” by Geist Magazine; her second, A Bad Year for Journalists was nominated for an Alberta Book Award and turned into a theatre piece premiering in Toronto. Her poems have appeared in magazines such as Fence and New American Writing. She is the author of the historical literary novel, Rats of Las Vegas. Lisa leads a "Write Every Day" workshop, which is a discussion about the evolution of a daily writing practice, be it a diary or fiction, poetry or quickly-jotted observation. Lisa spent twenty years living in Paris as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. Her features have appeared in diverse publications including The Chicago Tribune and Billboard. She is the host and co-writer of Discovery World’s TV travel show Paris Next Stop. Lisa is also the creator of “Improbable Walks,” story-telling walks focused on legends and place memory. She has created these art walks to critical acclaim for festivals and gallery residencies in cities such as New Orleans, Halifax, and Paris. Her most recent poetry book, The Riparian, is an exploration of a river ghost story.

Jennifer K Dick is an author originally from Iowa residing in France for the past 20+ years who has
published 6 chapbooks and 3 full length poetry books, most recently Lilith: A Novel in Fragments. Her fourth full-length book That Which I Touch Has No Name is forthcoming from Eyewear Press, London in October 2020. She is also a teacher with a PhD in Comparative Lit from Université de Paris III, a translator, critic, and events organizer who has gotten more deeply involved in collaborative projects over these past years: writing for and with dancer Olivier Gabrys for performances, composing an annual chapbook with 3 other poets in Paris, and doing a word/poetry installation on a building in the SBB Banhof of Basel, Switzerland, during a Regional Art residency. She teaches American Lit and Civ at the Université de Haute Alsace in Mulhouse, France, and curates a monthly bilingual reading series for American and French authors called Ivy Writers Paris. She also co-directs the Ecrire l’Art residency for French authors with Director Sandrine Wymann at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse Centre d’Art Contemporain.

Collin Kelley is the author of the poetry collections Midnight in a Perfect World, Better To Travel,
Slow To Burn, After the Poison, and Render, chosen by the American Library Association for its 2014 Over the Rainbow Book List. He is also the author of The Venus Trilogy of novels – Conquering Venus, Remain In Light, and Leaving Paris. Remain In Light was the runner-up for the 2013 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Fiction and a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Kelley is also the author of the short story collection, Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, reviews, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.

Friday, March 06, 2020

8 March Write Every Day at The Chattery generative writing workshop with Lisa Pasold and Jennifer K Dick

The Chattery in Chattanooga invites you to the “Write Every Day” WORKSHOP
4:30-6:30pm the 8th of March 2020 with JENNIFER K DICK & LISA PASOLD

AT: La Chattery 
1800 Rossville Avenue, 
Suite 108B, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Visiting authors Jennifer K Dick (American author of 3 poetry collections residing in France for over 20 years) & Lisa Pasold (Canadian author of 1 novel and 4 poetry collections, currently residing in New Orleans) offer you a gernative writing WORKSHOP on the topic of "WRITE EVERY DAY":

In this two-hour "Write Every Day" workshop, we discuss how to create a daily writing practice--diary or fiction, poetry or quickly-jotted note. Then we will begin generating some work for today.

Writing during the workshops will be based on daily writing prompts and ideas for creating patterns of exploration that can be built on individually and personally. Participants will discuss and share their own ideas on how a daily practice is a mental anchor, both creatively and spiritually, and how material from the daily writing--interior, messy, private--can be shaped into crafted work. Open to all genres of writing, this workshop resonates both with experienced writers, authors who may feel blocked, and with new writers and non-writers, who want to open themselves up to creating a personal creative routine.

This class is taught by touring poets, on a reading and teaching tour through the Southern states.

As writing instructors, both Jennifer and Lisa have worked with all levels of writers as instructors, editors and mentors. Jennifer has taught for the Paris Writers' Workshop, the Kent Paris School of the Arts MA in Creative Writing, WICE, Oxbridge Summer Programs (for High School writers), bilingual workshops at the Université de Haute Alsace and in Paris, and has guest workshopped at Naropa, LIA Brooklyn’s MFA program and with undergraduate creative writers. She ran a long-time, Paris-based novel writing group (and all of those who attended now have published books). Lisa Pasold has taught writing independently as a writing mentor for years, as well as taught workshops for schools and community groups, including at WICE in Paris, and in Toronto and Montreal in Canada, and in New Orleans and elsewhere in the States. Lisa has also worked as editor and journalist. Recently, she has been deeply involved in storytelling tour giving, and she is ready to provide you with wonderful advice on voice and the practices of developing voices in your writing.

Full BIOS:       
Lisa Pasold Lisa Pasold is a writer originally from Montreal, the host and co-writer of Discovery World’s TV travel show “Paris Next Stop” & the creator of Improbable Walks, story-telling walks focusing on legends and place memory, & created for festivals and gallery residencies in cities such as New Orleans, Toronto, and Paris. Her 2012 book Any Bright Horse was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for poetry. Her fifth book, a poetry collection titled The Riparian, has just come out with Frontenac House, Calgary. Her work has been anthologized and has appeared in New American Writing. Her first book of poetry, Weave, was called “a masterpiece” by Geist Magazine; her second book A Bad Year for Journalists was nominated for an Alberta Book Award and turned into a theatre piece the following year, premiering in Toronto. Her debut novel Rats of Las Vegas appeared in 2009; critics called the book “as enticing as the lit-up Las Vegas strip.” In the course of research, Lisa has been thrown off a train in Belarus, has eaten the world’s best pigeon pie in Marrakech, and has been cheated in the Venetian gambling halls of Ca’Vendramin Calergi. Lisa’s journalism features have appeared in diverse publications including The Chicago Tribune, The National Post, and Billboard. See blurbs and information on her books at https://www.lisapasold.com/books Follow her for more at: https://www.lisapasold.com/

Jennifer K Dick is the author of Lilith: A Novel in Fragments (Corrupt, 2019), Circuits (Corrupt, 2013) and Fluorescence (U of GA Press, 2004) as well as 6 art/chapbooks. A mixed French-English and Italian language book, That Which I Touch Has No Name is forthcoming from Eyewear Press, London in October 2020. 2 poems from SHELF BREAK, a manuscript in process, just went up online at Jerome Rothenberg’s “Poems and Poetics” series: https://jacket2.org/commentary/jennifer-k-dick Other SHELF BREAK poems will be appearing in Volt, Golden Handcuffs, Tears in the Fence and Shearsman Review this spring. Residing in France, Jennifer K Dick teaches at the Université de Haute Alsace, translates and has curated for 15 years a monthly bilingual reading series (Ivy Writers Paris). She also co-directs with Sandrine Wymann Ecrire l’Art, a residency for French authors at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse Centre d’Art Contemporain. They just published a large art format book with texts from the residency’s first 21 authors:  Ecrire l’Art, Dossier des ouvrages exécutés (les presses du reel, France, 2019).
           Also a translator, Jennifer's recent translations include Yves Peyré’s chapter in the catalogue Takesada Matsutani (Hauser & Wirth Publishers and The Pompidou Center Paris 2019, France/UK), an poetic essay by Jean-Daniel Baltassat in the book Les Horizons Perdus (les éditions de l’attente, France, Feb 2020), the programme catalogue for visual artist Véronique Arnold (Galerie Buchman, Lugano, 2018) and a series of poems written by Jean-Michel Espitallier, appearing soon in Read 6, (1913 presse, USA). For more, see jenniferkdick.blogspot.com