Because this year’s Summer Leadership Institute took place online, we have chosen to publish a virtual edition of the anthology, in addition to the hard-copy version. The contents will be shared in order, with a new piece published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
This anthology was written in an unprecedented time. COVID-19 has disrupted our world, and in our microcosm, it shifted what was once an in-person, concentrated summer gathering into a virtual, expanded community. When it took place, quarantine had been in place for approximately three months, and many of us were still deprived of in-person interactions with our peers, our friends, and our families. The pandemic also foregrounded vast racial and economic disparities in the United States, coinciding with violence and with subsequent protests that amplified divisions among people of different perspectives.
Accordingly, there was an underlying question that entered the workshop with us: Could we support the same connected community online that would have developed in person during previous summers…and do it despite a public atmosphere of shock, anger, and distrust?
Many of us, participants and facilitators alike, entered the workshop yearning for connection. To enter a space of strangers and leave that space as a community is no small feat, and yet, this connection bloomed. It is no coincidence that the kindness and connection we found in our community came from intentional vulnerability, purposeful gentleness, and respectful challenges composed around writing.
This anthology is the work of a group of people seeking connection and finding new meaning in each other. Together, we wrote; we shared; we grieved; we healed; we were forever changed by one another.
Looking ahead, we hope that this experience will resonate with others who found that, in times of great darkness, great light is also within reach. For as much as they may at times divide us, words also connect us.
With hope for a more connected world,
TBAWP’s 2020 SLI Community
Table of Contents
Creation by Mieke Valk
All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter by Julia Genkinger
Behind the Scenes: A Week in the Life by Emily Kent
Sacred by Lisa Inserra
Heartbeat #3 by Julia Genkinger
The Realities of Teaching & When Quarantine Hits by Jessica O’Brien
Vigils by Katharine Werthwine
Intrusion by Karen Holbrook
Altered Spaces by Courtney Nickel
Portraits by Anonymous
First Love by Julia Genkinger
Marcos Who… by Mari Aviles
Koi no yokan by Gabriela Salazar
Tell Me About the Flowers
Blowing Rocks Preserve
Saying Goodbye on the Last Day of School
Midsummer Day Dreams
The Color of Pink
Keep Thinking About It
Peonies in Brown Paper
COVID Teaches Me
The Second Year It Creeps
The Ant or the Ibis
What I Think Now
Papa Bill’s Pancakes
Where I’m From
Decades of Carrot Cake
Where I’m From
Layers of Love
Where I’m From
I Am From
Adam Thomas Beatty