ARTICLES AND REFLECTIONS
Arshi Adib-Moghaddan, “Bani Adam: the 13th century Persian poem that shows why humanity needs a global response to the coronavirus“. The Conversation, March 27, 2020.
A reading of the poem Bani Adam (Human Kind) by the Persian-Muslim polymath Sa’adi concerning the common existence and destiny of humanity.
Cambridge Reflections: COVID-19.
A series of blog posts by Cambridge authors in response to the present crisis and beyond. Featuring posts: “Reading Ovid in a Time of Social Isolation”, “Mary Shelley’s The Last Man and COVID-19 and other pieces relating to W.H. Auden and The Age of Anxiety, The Iliad and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.
Campbell, Sophie, “London’s Last Lockdown“, LGT, April 28, 2020. An account of the still existing historical signs of the plague in St Olave’s Church and other landmarks in London’s Square Mile, and one of its most noted parishioners, Samuel Pepys.
Cormer, Brendan, “Pandemic Objects: Home-Made Signs“. V&A Blog, Victoria and Albert Museum, 4 May 2020
Virginia Heffernan, “The Literature of Plagues Gives Us Words to Live By“. An account of relevant literary works such as Boccacio’s Decameron, Procopius of Caesaria, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Tom McTague, “COVID-19 Lessons for World Leaders From Medieval Literature“, The Atlantic, March 24, 2020.
Analogies and comparisons from the society depicted in the Anglo-Saxon elegy Beowulf.
Orhan Pamuk, “What the Great Pandemic Novels Teach Us“. New York Times, April 23, 2020.
The 2006 Nobel prizewinner gives an overview of the representations of plague in the literature of the 17th and 18th century, comparing the attitudes of the day to the reactions to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parks, Tim. “Milan in a time of coronavirus: a dispatch from Northern Italy“.
A reflection relating to the numerous epidemics that occurred in Florence that occurred in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and Milan in the plague of 1630, relating this to the response of Renaissance authors such as Boccacio and Alessandro Manzoni. Times Literary Literary Supplement, March 20 2020.
Pen America, Literature in the Time of Coronavirus: A Reading List.
Works both historical, such as The Plague by Albert Camus, and contemporary novels published in the last decade, by Anne Boyer, Ling ma and Eula Bliss, among others, treating illness and mortality.
“Quarantine Reads”, The New York Review of Books.
In this contemporary series, writers reflect on the books and authors helping them to make sense of the present age.
Arundhati Roy, “The Pandemic is a Portal”, Financial Times, April 3 2020.
Arundhati Roy writes on the helplessness of the world before the COVID-19 virus, and the present situation in India.
Saunders, George, “A Letter To My Students As We Face the Pandemic“, The New Yorker, April 3 2020.
With reference to the poem “Requiem” by the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova.
John Self, “Why people are turning to pandemic fiction to help process the Covid-19 crisis”. Penguin Books, April 1 2020.
Relating the present epidemic to canonical novels about plague and disease by Albert Camus, Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley and José Saramago.
Olga Tokarczuk, “A New World Through My Window“. The New Yorker, April 8, 2020.
The 2018 Nobel Prizewinner reflects on the world she observes through her window in lockdown.
Alissa Wilkinson, “Read these twelve moving essays about life during coronavirus”. Vox, April 5, 2020.
Twelve intellectuals, including Ali Bhutto, Kristian Vistrup Madsen, Leslie Jamieson and Arundhati Roy offer multiple perspectives on the present and future in a changed world.
Xu Zhangrun, “Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear”. China File, February 10, 2020.
An essay by the university professor, intellectual and dissident Xu Zhangrun concerning the COVID epidemic in the context of China’s society and present governance, with reference to Western literature and Chinese philosophy.
ONLINE POETRY RESOURCES
15 Poems For Surviving the Coronavirus
Poems to read in lockdown by Robert Hass, Frank O’Hara and Mary Oliver, among others on relevant aspects of the human experience.
WRITE where we are NOW
An initiative led by Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University: poets from around the world have been invited to compose poems, presented on the site in date order, concerning the coronavirus pandemic or about the personal situation they encounter themselves in.
WRITING COMMUNITIES AND BOOK CLUBS
StoryCenter, Stories from the Global Covid-19 Pandemic
The founding Center for Digital Storytelling – that is, recorded and multimedia narratives – hosts and curates stories recounting experiences during the lockdown. Webinars and training are offered, together with a facility to submit writing and recordings.
A “collective serial novel” composed by 46 writers, 46 visual artists, with 46 translators: one chapter a day, is published online at 3.00 pm, the whole intended to comprise “what will become a great document of these times of social isolation”. The project is based on the original in Portuguese, “Bode Inspiratório” and is overseen by the author and journalist Ana Margarida de Carvalho.
Quarantine Book Club
Based in New York, this online book club holds weekly meetings and workshops via Zoom with a wide range of specialists and authors on social, political and literary aspects of the present situation.
CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
Broadside Press, Call for Submissions: A Sense of Home.
Deadline for submissions: May 5, 2020
Online publication: July 1 2020
Provides prompts and ideas from creative writing practice to scaffold poems and stories about experiences during lockdown.
Burlesque Press, Call for Artistic Responses to the Pandemic.
Submission date: June 15, 2020
Publication date: late December, 2020
A call for literary responses, fiction or poetry, to any aspect of the pandemic.