Friday, 19 March 2021

Zoom meetings, reviews, articles and creative writing

 My writing desk is in the kitchen. The rough Ikea wooden table is surrounded by Ivar shelves packed with books. It is the heart of the house, handy for cooking. The front door is on the right, the living room on the left. It is stereotypical in a way but comfortable. On the table my mac laptop is at the centre surrounded by a pile of poetry collections waiting to be reviewed, literary magazines, the latest issues of The Poetry Review,

first and second drafts of my writing, handwritten in lined paper and in print, a printed copy of my PhD thesis, pens of different colours, pencils, lipsticks and nail polish, and a bottle of water. Food appears and disappears, mugs with tea or coffee come and go. On the right side there is my calendar with a list of the things I need to accomplish on the day or during the week and the week’s menu. I make sketches too from time to time digging colours, brushes and paints from a box under the table where I keep my art materials. As I have no more space on the shelves, I keep my PhD files in plastic pink boxes under the table as well. The whole thing looks a bit cluttered at first glance, though I try to tidy up from time to time, but I can navigate through it easily. Needless to say, we never have dinner in the kitchen.

During the winter lockdown I attended several zoom events I wouldn’t have ever imagined to take part in person. For example the Wayleave press poetry readings in the Lancaster area, the Ambit 242 launch, a conference on Lydia Davis with people speaking from around the world, the Poetry Society’s Keats anniversary event, Margaret Atwood’s talks and interviews from her house in Toronto and Woking Art Society’s demonstration sessions and workshops. After all I found that lockdown has its advantages, you can’t meet people in person but you have the chance to meet many more people online and attend events far away. I suppose that people with disabilities and elders have more chances to attend zoom events than meeting in person and maybe in the future, when lockdown ends, zoom meetings might still be a good alternative. Besides, in January and February I was working from home most of the time, which was more relaxing as I avoided commuting to London.

In February we celebrated my husband’s and my autistic daughter Valentina’s birthdays and in March my other daughter’s and my son Francesco’s birthdays too. For Valentina and Francesco we had it through Skype exchanging cakes remotely and with distanced clapping. Francesco made his own amazing cakes and Valentina’s carers organised a party in her apartment with presents, piñata and balloon decorations. I had sent a box to Valentina the previous week with our presents, to give them time to isolate everything for 72 hours. She was very happy and well aware of what was going on.

I wrote reviews and articles as usual and some of my poems were published. Here are the links:


Josephine LoRe: poet and photographer, an artist at her best 

Shanta Acharya, What survives is the Singing 

Pat Edwards, Kissing in the Dark 

Anne Pilling, Ways of Speech 

Greg Santos, Ghost Face 

Penny Sharman, Fair Ground 

David A. Romero, My Name is Romero 

The Arctic: Culture and Climate 

Michel Onfray, Before Silence: a year’s haiku (South Poetry 63) 

Poetry in Surrey Libraries blog (please insert the title of the poem in the search bar to access each one):

Winter Garden

Hansel and Gretel revisited 

Collage of Museum pieces 

Mental Mapping, landmarks 

Impressions of Calgary

Write Out Loud blog:

E cortesia fu lui esser villano



Moving out 

My short prose pieces Balloon and Bianca will be published by Backlash Press in the summer and my review of Margaret Atwood’s last poetry collection Dearly will be in the summer issue of Tears in the Fence.

More of my poetry is here:

Pulsar poetry: Palisade 

Alice Maher, Palisade

LG: My father, back home; In the beginning 

I,S&T: A safe den 

Hopefully spring is coming, I feel I need the light. My skin needs warmer temperatures and lighter clothes. We had a glimpse of double figures in late February after the snow and frost, which seemed unreal. I feel restless now and somewhat nervous, shall we have a lockdown-free spring and summer time? I Hope so.

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