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.
Cheon Pyo Lee
Ben Van Buren, Yonkers International Press