Dear 2020: Re-Meeting the Self, A thoughtshop exploring losses and blessings of the pandemic


The pandemic changed so much—how we greet each other, how we meet each other, how we work, how we play, how we move. There were devastating losses of loved ones. Life-changing losses of careers, homes. And there were, for each of us, thousands of smaller losses—missed celebrations, vacations, events, goals, connections with family and friends and social rituals. In this 40-minute webinar, poet Rosemerry will read poems that help us to name our griefs, meet them and honor how they have shaped us. She will also share poems that explore silver linings and small blessings. With each poem, she offers prompts for writing on our own in which we might let poetry help us meet this moment and all that brought us here.

*Errata: In the intro, I paraphrase an article in The Atlantic that I mistakenly attribute to Chloe Sheffe. She was the illustrator. The article, “You Won’t Remember the Pandemic the Way You Think You Will” is by Melissa Fay Greene.


“After” by Octavio Paz, from The Poems of Octavio Paz, translated by Eliot Weinberger (New Directions, 2018)

“There Doesn’t Need to be a Poem” by Tess Taylor, first printed in How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope (Storey Publishing, 2021)

“In Line at the Grocery Store” by Phyllis Cole-Dai, from Staying Power (Bell Sound Books, 2021)

“No Family Sundays Since March 16, 2020” by Laura Grace Weldon, first published in

“Another Name” by Joyce Sutphen, from Writer’s Almanac (May 1, 2021)

“Hiking the Loop” by Phyllis Cole-Dai, from Staying Power (Bell Sound Books, 2021)

“In the Company of Women” by January Gill O’Neil, from Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press, 2014)

“Consider the Lilies” by James Crews, used with permission

“At the Vaccination” by Mary Szybist, from The Washington Post, April 22, 2021

“The Lesson of the Falling Leaves” by Lucille Clifton, from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA Editions, 1987)

‘How Much Wider?” by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer