This book was conceived in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown. The medieval book from which it takes its name—Boccacio's Decameron—was a prompt and a point of departure; perhaps we could keep each other company in writing, even as we were all confined to our separate places of quarantine. This collection contains poems and fragments, reflections, narratives and images produced between March 18 and April 10, 2020. It is a cross-section of a moment in time, and in the time that has elapsed since submissions closed, the world has become yet more complex. While the uprising sparked by the death of George Floyd in May was yet to come, many pieces in this collection attend to the underlying structural inequalities that impacted populations during COVID-19. Together, these pieces convey a breadth of human responses to extraordinary circumstances, from loneliness to fantasy, anxiety to mortality, and from hope to silence.

This publication was prepared primarily on the unceded lands of the Lenape people (New York). Many of its contributions were written on the unceded lands of the Lenape people, and the unceded lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation (Sydney, Australia). We acknowledge those elders past and present, as well as future generations; it always was and always will be aboriginal land.


Decameron Contributors:

Justin Allen

Judy Annear

Adam Brody

Maurice Decal

Alexandra Delano

Caroline Dionne

Thom Donovan

Karin Ferrari

Jonathan Gray

Sarah Firth

Daniel Green

Aurelia Guo

Victoria Hattam

Athena Kokoronis

Mark Larrimore

Chantal Meng

Sara Morawetz

Justin Paton

Michael Pettinger

Dominic Pettman

Cheon Pyo Lee

Lovell Smajstrla

A.W. Strouse

McKenzie Wark

Izzy Wu


Macushla Robinson


Ben Van Buren, Yonkers International Press