Real Women Write
Beyond COVID: Leaning Into Tomorrow
Prose and Poetry from Story Circle Network
Beyond COVID: Leaning Into Tomorrow is Volume 20 in the Real Women Write anthology series from Story Circle Network, an organization that supports women writers and celebrates the importance of women’s stories. In the 2020 issue, Living on COVID Time, member-authors were responding to the first year of the global pandemic—its isolation, uncertainty, and social fractures. In this 2021 volume, the writers still explore the pandemic—which is not yet under control and dominates life for many—but they also offer up visions of how we move forward through and beyond it.
There are 53 authors of 63 works of prose and poetry included here. As we all are doing, they have come up against the surprising limbo of feeling at risk. The virus has, without warning, turned ripples of social, economic, and climate changes into powerful waves of unrest and discord, activism and retreat, community and personal growth and resistance to growth. As renowned author and teacher Christina Baldwin notes in her Foreword:
“Oh, a new reality is dawning. The pandemic is not an event: the pandemic is a shift.
A shift is a much harder experience. We don’t know how long it is, how big it is, or what consequences it enforces. We don’t know if it actually ever comes to a resolution in which the protagonists have triumphed, good has won the day, the dust-up of drama has settled, and we can finish our popcorn and eye the satisfying announcement, THE END… In a shift, is the end just THE BEGINNING? And beginning of what? And what just ended? And who am I in the muddle of this? How can I make story and meaning when everything keeps changing? And what happened to the camaraderie when we were cheering for team humanity?”
Beyond COVID: Leaning Into Tomorrow includes over five dozen uniquely individual responses to these questions, and yet together they reveal common human experiences, ideas and dreams of 21st century women, as all of us grow through an evolving era. This one-of-a-kind collection significantly expands the herstory and literature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Order your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite bookstore.
Christina Baldwin provides an insightful Foreword to this edition. She is the author of nine books, including a classic on personal writing—Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice. She is also a remarkable “teacher on the trail of community and story,” being co-founder with Ann Linnea of PeerSpirit, Inc. and The Circle Way Process.