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Wellspring: Humanities and Arts During COVID-19, Issue 2
Posted by Andrew Cohen
“A people also perish when they fail to keep alive the values that make them human, the wellsprings of their sanity.” —Ben Okri
In this week’s edition of “Wellspring: Humanities and Arts During Covid-19,” we share original prose and poetry by PCC Faculty, an invitation to participate in a student-driven book exchange hosted by the Queer Resource Center at Cascade, reflections on transformative music from Japan, and links to fantastic opportunities to engage in the arts and humanities from the comfort of your own home.
- In her meditation on teaching, language, and literature in the time of Covid-19 titled, “Language, Loss and ‘the things that lead to life,’” Sylvania English faculty Sara Atwood, writes, “. . .language binds us to the world in profound and lasting ways; we cannot touch words, nor do we make them with our hands, yet we use them to give shape and form to reality. Words will not stop the unfolding disaster, but words matter. They are the material from which we build our world—and, in times like these, reconstruct and sustain it.” Please enjoy the article on the HARTS website.
- Two Deep Breaths is a bi-weekly poetry posting on Inside PCC to “celebrate spring, to lift your spirits, to help you catch your breath.” Over the next few weeks, poems by PCC Faculty will be featured, like this one, “Apertures,” from Southeast English faculty Jessica Johnson’s collection, In Absolutes We Seek Each Other, a finalist for the 2016 Stafford/Hall Oregon Book Award, or this one, “The Slide Show Starts,” by Sylvania English faculty, Van Wheeler. The poems are curated by PCC Writer-in-Residence and Cascade English Faculty, Justin Rigamonti.
- Sylvania Japanese faculty chair, Takako Yamaguchi, shares this fascinating personal reflection about a recent re-recording of the Japanese hit, “Ue o Muite Arukō (上を向いて歩こ),” “I Look Up As I Walk,” a song, that was originally written on the heels of the failed Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan and went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. The song, which went on to sell some 13 million copies worldwide, was recently rerecorded for a Youtube video in the context of the pandemic.
- Student Advocate, Ash Wilson, from the Cascade Campus Queer Resource Center is hosting a virtual book club. Ash writes, “We’ll start ‘Femme in Public’ by Alok Menon and the QRC will buy a copy for any student interested in participating. We’ll be meeting every other week on Thursdays from noon to 1pm, and I invite you to join us anytime you can. Just send me an email to let me know you are interested in attending. I can let you know where we are in the book and get your information to have a digital copy of the book delivered to you. After we finish this book, there will be a vote for books that are either made by queer authors or have queer representation in them.” Please contact Ash at email@example.com
- Finally, this Thursday evening, join “Shelter in Poems: a virtual reading of uplifting poems to bring us together.” Launched by the Academy of American Poets as part of the “Shelter in Poems” initiative that invites poets and poetry lovers to share poems on social media that give them comfort or courage, “Shelter in Poems: A Virtual Reading” extends this idea with a special offering of poems read by poets laureate, actors, musicians, artists, and more. The evening will include poems presented by: Elizabeth Alexander, Sam Beam, Richard Blanco, Julia Bullock, Marilyn Chin, Rita Dove, Patrick Gaspard, Amanda Gorman, Joy Harjo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Dulé Hill, Edward Hirsch, Stephin Merritt, Maulik Pancholy, Alison Pill, Dan Rather, Alberto Ríos, Mustafa Shakir, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lorna Simpson, Amber Tamblynm, Natasha Trethewey and other special guests.
Wishing you well, and hoping you enjoy these offerings.