KUCI Fund Drive

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Panel Discussion of "Alone Together: Love, Grief, & Comfort in the Time of Covid-19" on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

When the pandemic hit last March, Jennifer Haupt asked herself what she could do in its face to help her literary community. She put out a call to artists—essayists, poets, and authors—asking them to contribute their impressions. Seventy-six people answered her call and Alone Together: Love, Grief, & Comfort in the Time of Covid-19 was born. The artists contributed their work, and all proceeds of the book sales go to benefit BINC (Book Industry Charitable Foundation).


Editor and contributor Jennifer Haupt joins Marrie Stone, along with contributors Amber Flame, Robin Black, and Roberto Lovato, to talk about the collection. They discuss not only their own struggles to make artistic sense of this time, but their struggles with being artists of color and how their various backgrounds contributed to their work.


What emerges is a frank and sensitive discussion of race, class, and privilege in the time of Covid. 

As a bonus, we're asking writers to contribute their favorite writing prompts and exercises. The following were recommended by this panel:

Robin Black: I like to ask students who their characters are when they aren't in the story being written, when they aren't doing the things the author needs them to do. I'll ask them to write a few pages of some other event in the character's life, incorporating "out of character" facts about them; a couple of neurotic habits the character has; unusual hobbies they might have, and so on  - characteristics that expand the humanity of the character beyond the most stringent needs of the story. I am big these days into going beyond the idea of "necessity" in fiction - especially short fiction - and going for generosity instead. 

Flame:  I’ve been guiding groups with ekphrastic writing - looking or watching another piece of art and then using reaction/responses as a prompt. It’s a good way to get out of your head and personal experience while being in communion with other art forms.


Roberto Lovato: My main prompt is the conscious, daily reminder of my commitment to what I'm writing, its integrity, my need to sing and whatever virtuosity I can bring.

Download audio.   

 (Broadcast date: August 26, 2020)

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