Living in the Masked Age – April 2020

We’ve been quarantined since March 13th. Week one, we were hopeful. We began our second round of poetry submission readings. We read and continue reading over 125 (as of today, that number is over 200) poetry submissions, that’s about 300 (600) poems. So far, the caliber and generosity of the poets who submitted work to us have lifted our spirits and have made our quarantine bearable.

Poetry No. 48 – Colma Walk
by Tony Press

This month, we’ll showcase a few of the many superb poets who submitted work to us. Up first, Tony Press and his poem “Colma Walk.” Post COVID-19, this touching poem about remembrance, the celebration of life before and after, reminds us of how despite the interruption of death, illness, and hardship, hope keeps us going.


Before Our Quarantine…
we hosted one more reading series. Little did we know that COVID-19 would be declared a pandemic the next day. In an effort to keep everyone safe, we tried our best to avoid hugs and kisses, our bartender wore rubber gloves, glassware was disinfected, and the mic was wiped down with Clorox wipes by each reader after their performance. Somehow, we managed to have a wonderful night.

The series is on hiatus for now. KGB Bar is closed until further notice. KGB Bar is accepting donations to keep things going. You can donate to them here.

We hope to have more news in the upcoming weeks on a virtual Digging Through series.

Digging Through No. 3

Read Excerpts by Two of Our Favorite Writers
We are featuring excerpts from two of our favorite writers, Mandy-Suzanne Wong and Jules Archer. Congrats to Mandy-Suzanne and Jules for their amazing books.

 

Excerpt No. 1
DRAFTS OF A SUICIDE NOTE
BY MANDY-SUZANNE WONG
Published: October 2019
Publisher: Regal House Publishing, LLC
454 pages
Excerpt No. 2
LITTLE FEASTS
BY JULES ARCHER
Published: February 2020
Publisher: Thirty West Publishing House
84 pages


Fundraising Call for Submissions
Fundraising Alert! We are featuring fabulous flash fiction (under 500 words) in July and August 2020.

For this open call, all submissions will receive written feedback from Gessy Alvarez. Selected authors will be awarded token honoraria and their work will be promoted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Open submissions end May 15. The $5 reading fee will support honoraria and the press.


Onwards…

We will never forget this moment or the people affected. As I write this, the latest reports for the NY tri-state area are cautiously hopeful with deaths remaining flat for the second day in a row. The skies outside are blue and the flowering trees are blooming throughout our neighborhood. Yesterday, a murder of crows cawed at our house. But even that seemed like an omen of better things to come. We are choosing, quite mindfully, to remain focused on the things that bring us pleasure and joy. I’m about to head out for some groceries, donning a face mask and gloves. When I get home, I will wash every item from the supermarket in my kitchen sink. We are staying away from our friends and family but continue to be in touch, by phone, by Zoom, by email. This is not forever. This is what we have right now. Let’s find a way to live through it and begin anew.

 

Take care and flowers,

Gessy Alvarez