VIRTUAL: Unmasking Grief: Writers Confront the Illusion of Post-Pandemic Recovery

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
9:00 am to 10:00 am


Is the pandemic over? And if so, for whom? Is a 9/11’s worth of death a week in the U.S. simply the new normal, and is that because we undervalue most of the currently ill/dying: the elderly, the chronically ill and the disabled? Literature is a way to process our grief, isolation, fear, anger, and the tremendous cost of what happened. We’ll read work about what and whom we lost and what we felt. We will also urge the literary world to maintain the disability-inclusive aspects of virtual events.

This virtual event was prerecorded. It will be available to watch on-demand online starting on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 through Thursday, March 7, 2024.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: V116_Event_Outline.pdf



Jan Steckel's debut fiction collection Ghosts and Oceans came out in 2023. Like Flesh Covers Bone won 2019 Rainbow Awards for LGBT Poetry and Best Bisexual Book. The Horizontal Poet won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Her chapbooks Mixing Tracks and The Underwater Hospital also won awards.

Terry Tierney is the author of the irreverent Vietnam-era road novel, Lucky Ride, a poetry collection, The Poet’s Garage, and the upcoming rust belt romance, The Bridge on Beer River. He earned his BA and MA at SUNY Binghamton and a PhD at Emory before surviving several Silicon Valley startups.

Amaranthia Sepia is a Black, invisibly-disabled creative activist. She is the cofounder of a project with her mother, Claire Jones, called Sista Creatives Rising. Within this project she develops "Art & Mind," a virtual event showcasing underrepresented women & genders.

Claire Jones is a DV and cancer survivor, Buddhist, Frances Perkins Scholar, and Mount Holyoke graduate. Goalcast, BestSelf Media, YOPP published her works. In 2020 she spoke virtually to DV activists at YWCA Central Massachusetts. On August 10, 2023 Jones gave a virtual presentation for Boston Public Library. She's the cofounder of Sista Creative.

Suchandrima Banerjee recently completed her debut novel about a woman who travels across the globe to confront a past trauma at the onset of the pandemic outbreak. Her poetry has appeared/will appear in the San Pedro River Review and the Redwood Anthology. She is a biomedical engineer by profession.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center