Most Fridays the Practicing Writing blog shares writing and publishing resources, news, and reflections to peruse over the weekend. But it’s been an excruciating week for so many of us. And frankly, I’ve paid next-to-no attention to garden-variety news from the writing and publishing spheres.
On Wednesday, however, I received an email from Facing History and Ourselves, a Boston-based global nonprofit organization that I’ve admired for many years. The email introduced a “mini-lesson” titled “Processing Attacks in Israel and the Outbreak of War in the Region.”
The resource isn’t perfect. (What resource is?) But one of its segments impressed me as something that, though intended for educators and students, could be clarifying for writers as well, in our work and in the rest of our lives. It’s a section titled “Avoiding Antisemitic and Islamophobic Tropes in Discussing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”
- Earlier this week, hosts Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach and Olga Livshin united Ukrainian poets and their translators alongside US poet-allies in an online event titled Voices for Ukraine (part of the reading series Words Together, Worlds Apart). Voices for Ukraine “brought together over 800 transatlantic listeners, spanning from Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv, to LA, Atlanta, Philly, Little Rock, and beyond. Poets and translators shared work live as well as some recordings of Ukrainian poets who were unable to join us.”
- Via Shelf Awareness: Theodore’s Books in Oyster Bay, N.Y., “is hosting a drive to send children’s books to facilities in Europe being used by Ukrainian refugees. Former U.S, congressman Steve Israel, Theodore’s owner, said, ‘As a congressman, I was able to support funding for humanitarian assistance to refugees around the world. Now, as a private citizen and bookstore owner, I want to do my part to support the needs of displaced Ukrainian children. The best way for me is donating books.’ Theodore’s Books is making its own direct contribution of books that will be shipped to facilities housing displaced Ukrainian children, and throughout March, any children’s books purchased at the store and donated to this cause will be discounted 10%.” (I’m trying to find out if there’s a way for those of us who aren’t local to purchase books online that the store can include with its shipments.)
- From Ilya Kaminsky, on Twitter: “If you are involved with any literary/academic organization that can help to host Ukrainian writers –should they need a place of refuge–please send me a DM with exact details (I am getting a large flood of emails, to please be exact). Thank you so much for your consideration.
- Among the many Ukraine-related statements issued this week by literary organizations I paused over the one made by Res Artis (Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies), which began with a reminder that its upcoming conference “was planned to be held in Kyiv, Ukraine and hosted by IZOLYATSIA in cooperation with Ukrainian Institute, House of Europe, and Goethe-Institut Ukraine.” Their statement continued by sharing a message/request for support from one of those partners (Ukrainian Institute).
- And of course, you’ll find a new set of Jewish-lit links posted over on the My Machberet blog. (The post went live several hours before I received notice of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ own statement on Ukraine: “The Association of Jewish Libraries expresses deep concern for and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We are devastated over the loss of life and destruction of property and wish to offer support in any way we can to assist in this very difficult situation. There are many important Judaica collections in Ukraine, including in the state libraries, archives large and small, museums, and university collections in the hard-hit cities of Kharkov and Kyiv, as well as throughout the country. We are hoping and praying for the safety and care of the custodians of these collections, many of whom are friends and colleagues, and for their families and the broader Ukrainian nation. Please know that we stand with you in these trying times.”)
Wishing for a good, peaceful weekend.