The personal essays and poems published here were written and submitted during the spring of 2020, just after a global pandemic was declared and the first lockdowns began across Canada. We collected and published these stories quickly, without our usual in-depth vetting and editing process, because we wanted to capture the immediate experiences of women and non-binary writers—their initial, visceral responses to such extraordinary circumstances.
This collection reflects a moment in history. Anxiety, shock, gratitude, fear, restlessness, determination. Reading these stories even a few months later, we realize how much we didn’t know, how we made things up—figured things out—as we went along. But that’s always the case, isn’t it? The Covid pandemic was “unprecedented” but, in many ways, so is every day. The poems and essays here show resilience in the face of uncertainty and a surprising yet reassuring togetherness as expressed through the power of literary writing.