Whatever Keeps the Lights On

In these days of Stay in Place, Hunker Down, and Quarantine, I can say assuredly that the world feels as though it has been turned on its head.  While there are no known active cases of COVID-19 in the community [yet], the preparation is evident.  Businesses are closed down, folks have been furloughed, parking areas and lots once full are largely empty, and pretty much all social activities are canceled indefinitely until this threat passes.  Yet many are still on the front lines of working directly with the public at large and these folks have my utmost respect.  Their efforts make it easier to accept the reasoning for sheltering.

In Alaska, schools are closed until May 1st [at least].  As with all teachers,  I’ve spent too many hours last week online, moving my English classes to an online platform that will hopefully allow my students to keep moving forward in the month ahead.  Tuesday will offer a better idea on how effective this plan is while both teachers and students adjust to this learning curve and either gather, assess and post work OR complete and submit assignments.  The online platforms in my house will be smoking come Tuesday.  My daughter will be taking her online courses while I monitor my online courses.  Interesting times!

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So it was timely that the literary journal Whatever Keeps the Lights On published its special edition anthology, “Stolen Moments:  Poem Written at Desk Jobs” at this given time.  One, we all been given this strange time to tend, reflect, and — at least in my home, read.  Two, I’m happy to share that I have a couple of poems in this issue, “How to Disappear” and “Tidal Zone.”  I’m grateful the editors gave these two a home in their pages.

If you’re not actively writing, take a chance that you’ll find work within these pages that piques your interest.  Besides, Old Harbor Books is closed Sundays and this means no home delivery from our locally owned independent bookstore which is also trying to keep a stop in the door and business moving forward.

It’s a wild world out there, friends. Stay safe!


Author: kerstenchristianson

Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. She serves as poetry editor of the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. Her latest collection of poetry is Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2020). Kersten holds an MFA from the University of Alaska. www.kerstenchristianson.com @kerstenak

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