From the Jacket2 team
Publishing during the COVID-19 crisis
A note from the editors and publishers of Jacket2:
The tears have now dried on my face, the paper lies open on the table before me: I think of the COVID-19 virus, invisible to the naked eye, which has wreaked such havoc in such an achingly short time and see the parallel with another virus, albeit metaphorical — the virus of greed that spawned that earlier global disruption and destruction of nations, peoples, cultures. — M. NourbeSe Philip, in a public Facebook post
Dear readers and contributors,
Like many of you, we are adapting to increased safety measures around COVID-19 at the University of Pennsylvania and other campuses. Our work here at Jacket2 will likely be delayed and/or interrupted; our publication schedule for both commentaries and J2 content at large will be slower than usual as we adapt to the global pandemic. Many of our editors are working remotely, and we will continue to curate Jacket2 as a space to convene and sustain a life in/through poetry during times of scarcity, stress, and shifting imagined communities. We remain committed to bringing you open access content when institutional access and travel for research become compromised and complicated.
This is a moment for practical, compassionate, and critical thinking, and we invite queries for our commentaries section, and especially invite commentaries about poetry during times of catastrophe, global or local disasters, and crises of the neoliberal state.
At a time when we enter a more complicated relationship with our own bodies as inscrutable texts and agents of difficult change, we’d like to draw your attention towards writers contemplating illness, the disabled body, and medicalized sociality. Check out:
- Rodney Koeneke’s “The posthumous now: On Hillary Gravendyk’s The Soluble Hour,” on the “fascination of poetry written from illness.”
- Jessica Stokes’s “An introduction to Discordance,” in which she considers how disabled poets compose “space for different hearts, polyvocality, and variation not as deviance but productive friction.”
- Cynthia Hogue’s “On being ‘ill’-informed: H.D.’s late modernist poetics (of) d’espère,” in which the author considers how, in H.D’s work and others’, “the real suffering body is bodied forth (we might say) in poetic inspiration.”
- EB’s “Performing crip/queer survival: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Bodymap,” in which the author explores how Piepzna-Samarasinha “center[s] assistance and interdependency as a site of politicized cultural knowledge production.”
As our readers within the United States and around the world witness a sharp spike in hate crimes against people of Asian descent, we are hearing responses of rage, dismay, and fear from friends, family, and readers. There is no better time to support and amplify resistant and incisive writing by Asian American poets, scholars, and critics in our institutions and communities. Check out:
- Timothy Yu, on “Engagement, race, and public poetry in America,” in which Yu explores the significance of Janice Mirikitani, Ishle Park, and Cathy Park Hong.
- Roopika Risam’s commentary post on Margaret Rhee’s Kimchi Poetry Project, a new media work through which Rhee asks “What feminist methods, histories, and stories can we unearth and create through the poetics of kimchi?”
- Anna Maria Hong’s eloquent review of Tan Lin’s ambient novel Insomnia and the Aunt, in which he “blends fiction and multimedia memoir to deliver the portrait of an enigmatic relative who may or may not be real. Or her field notes on Don Mee Choi’s reading for the Poetry at Bennington series.
We would also like to give a shout-out to our friends at Kundiman, as they work overtime to support Asian American writers and find news ways to be “together while apart”; and a shout-out to our friends at the Asian American Writers Workshop who are supporting Asian American writers and allies by finding “ways to host more online readings and conversations in lieu of live public events.” We urge you to support their work for writing communities as the nerve-wracking course of this pandemic asks us to consider who we are and how we can care for our fellow writers, editors, and publishers.
We acknowledge that many Jacket2 writers’ timelines, too, may be altered by uncertain conditions, new workplace demands, and a laborious turn towards domestic care; writing unpaid content for an open-access poetics journal may not take priority in a crisis. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you anticipate delays in posting schedules, shifts in deadlines, or the need to revise your goals in relation to our publication. Please reach out if there are ways in which Jacket2 can support your writing for us during this time. As ever, we are committed to small-team editorial attention to excellent and incisive writing on contemporary poetics, and we are here to serve your writing and reading life.
With good wishes for your safety and health,
The Jacket2 team