Writers at Home: Daily Online Literature & Lessons from The Cabin
Because you’re at home, too.
Because you have an interest in how this unique moment of social distance is being written.
Because our anxiety is collective and less frightening when it’s named.
The Cabin has invited writers from our community and beyond to publish poems, essays, lessons, prompts, and stories with us to help us all through the isolation, fear, and confusion.
Tune in Monday through Friday, today through June, for words to feel (and think) with — and some selections from our Writers in the Schools residencies thrown in.
*NEW* Reading something swell that you think everyone should read? (Or at least folks who like the same kind of books that you do?) Add it to our Community Crowdsourced Reading List and scroll through to find suggestions from other readers!
“I wound up on shore, but I wasn’t wet, cold, or hurt. I looked around, and didn’t see anything, but I just heard Sadie barking. Then I realized that the worst had happened.”
“Hi, my name is Lucas and I really want something. It’s hard for me to explain. I want to go back home because I really miss my home. Here let me tell you how this all started.”
“The neighbors want to talk to us for the first time since we moved in. They offer me arugula from their garden. I want to say, I’m good, I still go to the grocery store. Instead, I ask them something I’ve been wondering for five years. What is the name of your cat who naps every day in my yard?”
“He ticked from station to station as the streets began to fill, and fill further – food trucks, old women being escorted arm in arm through crosswalks and the automatic doors of supermarkets and chocolate shops and taquerias, blooms torn from dogwoods, cherry trees, maples. It was soothing.”
“Your body a strange engine, blinking you as traffic / lights, trapped in vehicular movement until you’re / merely momentary, whole-body contradiction, / whale inside you just under your skin…”
“I know the world has not stopped just because we have. I have been / touch-starved for years; that does not mean I have ever / been numbed.”
“That being said, I’ve taken comfort in avoiding people or not looking directly at strangers because finally, this is acceptable and encouraged behavior. I don’t have to pretend that I am friends with the store clerk, and act engaged when they ask if I’ve had that brand of mac and cheese before.”
“Sir Lonely Corncob was a lonely man who lived in Ireland. He was rich, but that did not matter because he had no one to talk to. The only thing he had was chess.”
“Little did she know, she knew so little then. In that / modern era of weird, everyone had knots in their / necks and in the hair at their napes. And / of course the world was nervous.”
“Every night I dream about Survivor—where all the stresses of my waking life are reimagined on an island in my mind. One night, I am at tribal council with my two dogs and must choose which one of them to vote off the island…”
“On one side, there was Bill and he was fighting with Ice Cream. Jim sent the first attack that hit the top of Bill’s head, squishing him and shrinking him by three feet! Then Bill sent his attack, pinning Jim to the floor.”
“The urge to let go / rises; surely Spring returns / With or without us.”
“What happens in a tourist economy when the stories can no longer be told, when social intimacy can no longer be practiced?”
“Chick’s face turned red, ‘Just because I’m little doesn’t mean I can’t do anything.’”
“Shake out the apron, star stuff and bones / Quake the mantle / Flake beneath crust/ Silence a ruckus of reasons and whys”
“I have one regret and that is that / I am talking to people / I have, of course, no way of knowing”
“Nick didn’t know what to do. He’d completely forgotten about the slack bandana around his neck, and he couldn’t remember the last time he’d stood in front of so much fragrant food.”
“We treat the dark with so much malice, / we forget the wickedness of the light, / its abundance of self-righteousness, / its headachy fluorescence.”
How to write on deadline when the world is in chaos, your house is imploding, and your kid is home from school.
The Cabin offers our second installment of book selections to keep you company in the coming weeks.
“The year turns and shakes us / like our hearts are Magic 8-Balls.”
“So here’s something I’m trying. With sticks and yarn, I’ve fenced off one square yard of the yard. And this spring I’m going to try to pay attention to it.”
“Listen./ Why did the bargain insist I must scatter whole / lung-spans of days to life’s outer circumference?”
“The bars, they’d had their way with the bars, and that tapas place around the corner, the drive-thru donut shop, too. The earthquakes, they remained fey, twee, cuter than most.”
“Try to really write in the voice that you think this character has or should have. What that may look like is using different phrases and expressions that they would normally use, try to write from their point of view rather than your own.”
“I don’t know which is worse. Sheltering in place before I will be sheltering in place, or the soft-edged, tail-down back-pedaling of people who’ve freely conveyed just how hard having a baby is.”
“You can stay there as long as you want. There are no time limits. Study the landscape. Create more.”
“It’s easier to believe in / business as usual / When we have two ply / And paychecks…”
“This is the cruelest joke. The order to isolate, the thing the quiet ones long for, to shutter and drink the way you’ve always wanted to.”
The Cabin offers our first in a series of book selections to keep you company in the coming weeks.
“What are you experiencing these days during this pandemic? How is it affecting your bodies, minds, spirits, emotions? What does stress look like for you right now? Feel like? Smell like? Sound, taste like?”
“The privileged class demands variety to escape the soul crushing conformity of comfort. Last year’s harp playing conjoined twins are replaced by this year’s German mesmerist.”
“People who walk around with their fingers interlaced / tend to make me nervous…”
“I’m trying not to think about how all the recent rain’s making things grow, and growing things need tending.”
“Wait! Look at the beginning letter of every word. It looks like a clue for something.
Get a pencil and paper. Quick! Before anyone sees what we’re doing!”
“Everyone is writing now, through emails and texts. I’ll have friends send me the most hilarious texts that light up my life, and though they will never be published or archived they make my life better.”
“My heart aches for the quietness of night. The neighbors decide to put their Valentine’s decorations back up. I put a record on and let the needle fall. “
“I asked for a few things / One answer was: / Try not to compare / Different ways of helping”