Literary Events Go Virtual in the Time of COVID-19

William Gibson in Second Life

To be a part of the literary community over the last few weeks has involved seeing months’ worth of events rescheduled, canceled, or shifted online. In some cases, this has been due to precautions taken to prevent coronavirus infection; in others, it’s due to writers canceling book tours. The Loft’s Wordplay Festival is shifting from an in-person event to one that will take place in a host of online spaces, for instance. As writers, publishers, and event planners look out at this shifting landscape, a host of questions come to mind. If events aren’t feasible right now, are there alternatives? Are live-streamed readings and discussions the new normal when it comes to literary events? Is there a way to capture that same sense of community that the best literary events held in a physical space can accomplish?

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Bodies, Costumes, and Dreams: An Interview With Megan Giddings

The stories in Megan Giddings’s chapbook Arcade Seventeen blend elements that might seem dissonant, including dream logic, body horror, the Michael Keaton/Andie MacDowell film Multiplicity. But instead, the quotidian, the obscure, and the sinister all converge, creating a memorable collection that takes the reader to a host of unexpected places. I talked with Giddings via email about the chapbook’s origins, the themes she explores in it, and what’s next for her.

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