In 1790, the French soldier Xavier de Maistre was placed on house arrest, an experience that resulted in his classic anti-travel memoir Voyage Around My Bedroom. In 2020, poets around the world found themselves in similar situations, as quarantine protocols and involuntary lockdowns became the norm. Poetry is not just a record of travel, but a form of it; to reimagine this tradition in the pandemic age, presenters will read their own works on travel alongside the cherished works of others. Our hope is that travel poems (however interpreted) will reaffirm the power of poetry to help us transcend present circumstance, to inspire us to undertake similar generative voyages where possible, and ultimately lend us strength to endure whatever the future of the pandemic may hold.
April 20, 2021, 6:00 pm
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