Creating in the Time of COVID 19

By "Stay Home," Mural by Matty Kakes

In May, we put out a submission call. Send us your work, we urged. Tell us how you’ve been writing your way through the pandemic. Show us what this moment means to you.

Contributor Sarah Beauchamp asserts that “it is the misfits of the world, the artists, the poets, the writers, and the sensitive souls who have this unique ability to capture and reflect the state of the world through art and through language.” We see evidence of this here with a thoughtful, emotional collection of poems, art, even a personal essay based on an Instagram pandemic diary.

As editors, we revelled in the opportunity to stare into the maw of these poems, witness the courage it takes to write them, and then for the poet to hurl them into the midst of this maelstrom.  We are reminded that this is the poet’s job – to allow, permit, and witness, and these poets are living it. Aside from the attention to cadence, rhythm, assonance and line, these poems are a true whispering of the heart’s felt experience, raw and expectant, hopeful and alert.  We were moved by the lines “tell me who I am…the memory is sure/like I’ve been here before” and the longing and ache in “Six Feet Like Oceans”.  These are only small measures of specific moments these poets have offered up to the universal experience in this issue.   

“There is so much to say in turbulent moments like these, and there’s so much importance in saying what needs to be said,” states Jaryn Hollowink in her introduction. We at the Black Bear Review offer up this art and writing as a promise to continue to call out, voice our undying love for you.  From the safety of our den to the light of your home, the comfort and wisdom of these submissions will find a way to reach you.

Thank you for reading~

Almeda Glenn Miller, Leesa Dean, and Renée Harper

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