Our innate desire to see things get better is being challenged daily. Every time I get myself stabilized, sense that I might be moving forward towards something, I get upset by the news. Even with the joy of a new administration, so much damage has been done and it’s hard to see a way through it.
I gain ground in this pandemic and then lose it. Doesn’t it always feel like a swirl of emotion — of joy and despair delivered together in one big wallop?
Today, I’m reaching out because of trepidation, because of sticking my toes in. I have long dreamed of having a space where people would come together to hear poetry or fiction, listen to a lecture or live music, or discuss current events. A safe place where people can create together. A place for generation of creative work and feedback and workshops. It has always seemed like a huge lift until this world of isolation and video calls came to be. Now, I can envision an online space where we meet in real time and asynchronously to do all these things.
I realized that doing this alone would be really difficult, so I reached out Lisa Allen, a fellow poet and Solstice alum. Turns out, she’d been dreaming of the same thing! So we put together a plan and can’t wait to launch it with you all.
Welcome to The Notebooks Collective!
The Notebooks Collective is a virtual literary arts space founded by poets Rebecca Connors and Lisa Allen, out of the need to share poetry, learn from each other, and connect in the time of COVID-19. Our plans include rolling out submit-athons, classes and writing nights, readings, an artist- and writer-in-residence program, community conversations, and more. We will be working to illuminate new and emerging voices, create a community of learners, and celebrate with joy our time with each other.
Please consider joining us on February 11 at 8 PM EST. We’re launching right before Valentines Day with an event full of love and gratitude. We’ll have guest readers and a discussion of words that make our hearts flutter. And we’ll even open up the floor for you to share a love poem — either by suggesting one to add to our crowd-sourced anthology or by reading it aloud.
RSVP here: https://thenotebookscollective.com/events/launch-party/
We’re still putting together the pieces, and I hope that you will help us launch this venture because it is near and dear to my heart. If you can’t make the launch, please sign up to get our updates and maybe give us a follow on Twitter!
Ok, with that said, I would also like to introduce you to Leo Fitz Connors, our new kitten. He is a rambunctious flurry of activity and we’re still adjusting to that level of energy.
I’m still listening to my favorite murder obsessively, and have also branched out to Brené Brown’s podcast. I highly recommend this episode about burnout.
In writing news, I published this review of Julia Story’s Spinster for Hire and recently interviewed Lily Poetry Review EIC Eileen Cleary for AWP’s In the Spotlight.
And for those who love chocolate, I couldn’t help but share this: Open Book Chocolates.
Take care and I hope to see you February 11! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to learn more!