Creative Writing in the Age of the Pandemic
While it is too soon to fully assess the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will stand as a watershed in global human life, creative writers as canaries in the cultural coalmine will be among the first to try to render it comprehensible and are already responding to the seismic shifts. The unexpected changes the pandemic has created have altered all of the processes that sustain human life, the social practices and interactions that are the mainstay of poetry, fiction, and drama, perhaps permanently. Enforced social isolation has caused people from all strata of society to contemplate what it means to be engaged in human culture while at the same time facing the possibility of sudden and random mortality, even mass extinction. This panel invites creative writers to reflect on what it means to write during a pandemic. Creative work, discussions of pedagogy, and consideration of the literature of past pandemics are all welcome.