Colorado Springs Poets ‘Process The Difficult Realities’ Of Coronavirus Through Writing

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4min 43sec
Courtesy of Nico Wilkinson
Writing poetry during quarantine has also inspired Nico Wilkinson to create prints while hanging on the porch with their dog.

Poets and writers are adapting to a new reality in quarantine, where writing groups are hosted on Zoom and community open mics have gone virtual. 

KRCC's Elena Rivera spoke with three poets from Poetry 719, a community poetry organization in Colorado Springs, on what creating during a pandemic has looked like for them and how it has changed their work.

Mallory Everhart
Local Poet and Faith Leader

Courtesy of Mallory Everhart
Mallory Everhart said writing helps her "make sense of what's what's happening at the time."

I've actually really returned to art as a spiritual practice, both creating and taking in. So, to create my own [art] has also been a way to help process the difficult realities of what's happening.

Being separated from community and acts of care that used to be safe, something that used to be this sign of friendliness is now might kill you, right? I'm just trying to make sense of what's what's happening at the time.

Hear Mallory read her poem, "Dare."

Kevin C. Mitchell
Poet and Community Organizer

Kevin C. Mitchell said his poem, "Fracture," has come out of self-reflection during quarantine.
Credit Courtesy of Kevin C. Mitchell
Kevin C. Mitchell said his poem, "Fracture," has come out of self-reflection during quarantine.

I found through quarantine that, you know, life slowed down. It gave me time to really get back into my creative process, which is like swimming through a river of sadness and tragedy.

I write about what I see, what I go through, as a Black male or childhood sexual assault survivor. What I see in the community and what I hear others going through, I try to put those into words so they know that somebody relates and they're not alone.

Hear Kevin read his poem, "Fractured."

Nico Wilkinson
Writer and Organizer

Courtesy of Nico Wilkinson
Nico Wilkinson said their poetry often deals with mental health, identity and queerness.

It's only recently that I've really felt like I could write and create during this time. It wasn't for want of trying, you know, I was trying to write, but then finding that by the end of the day, by the time I was done working, I had to like really engage in some escapism for a moment and not be very present with myself. 

I think often when writing, I have to be very present with myself and what I'm feeling, and sometimes it's not comfortable. But I think anytime I personally have gone through some sort of mental duress or stress or fear, it's just a period of working with my own brain to get to get to a better place.

And also knowing this is not linear, just as any sort of healing during an experience is never linear.

Hear Nico read their poem, "limb in all."