Susan Wilson’s poems quietly and sensitively explore the range of feelings – numbness, pain and longing – experienced after losing a loved one, enacting within their poetic structures the motions and process of grief.
Johanna Robinson’s flash fiction, ‘The Composition of Us’, celebrates friendship between women – the joy, tears, late night talks and parties experienced before the pandemic and now in lockdown, online.
In this creative ‘Christmas’ essay, Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou reflects on the power and therapeutic potential of drawing in her own life, the artistic practise of Louise Bourgeois, and Jean Frémon’s new text Nativity (Les Fugitives).
As someone who was already fighting a life-threatening illness, Tomilyn Hannah was familiar with difficulties of social distancing and self-isolation. But lockdown gave her an opportunity to encounter the kindness of strangers, make new friends and be part of a new community.
After an Erasmus exchange in Paris, artist and art historian Kathryn Cutler-MacKenzie discovered that translation is about the space between languages and voices; a space that affords us new connections, ideas and friendships.
Learning both English and Urdu at school, and teaching French after university, Naima Rashid initially felt dislocated from her “mother tongue” and land. But, on reading Urdu again, she’s discovered it’s ‘the space between languages’ that feels like home.
Recalling several occasions where her native tongue has been criticised, Juliane Beck became conscious not only of the sound, but the cultural and socio-political history attached to the German language. Here, she writes about learning to accept and appreciate how language is embedded in life.
On reading Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey, Georgia Poplett started to consider the misogynistic history behind language and the way translated words have been used to harm and heal womxn.
When Majella Mark was left unable to speak because of health problems, she felt alone and excluded. But on discovering New York’s hearing impaired community, she made new friends and learned to communicate in a way she never had before.
In the first essay of her co-edited and co-conceived series, Disembodied Voices: Friendship during COVID-19, Sumaya Kassim reflects on the breakdown of a friendship, exploring feelings of abandonment, rejection and grief that led her to self-evaluate and cultivate new intimacy and care.