Welcome to our ongoing series exploring isolation, exile, and “The Everyday Pandemic.” Throughout this series it is our hope to capture the daily toll of life through the pandemic from the perspective of writers and artists who are familiar with the experience of isolation or exile. With this in mind we’ve collected stories, poems, nonfiction essays, and digital art from writers and artists from all walks of life and from all around the globe. The series is co-sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of English, and the Global Studies Center — and made possible by Pitt’s Engaged Scholarship Design Fellowship.

Photo Essay by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Photo Essay by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

January 12, 2023
Experience the world through Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo’s eyes as you explore his new photo essay encapsulating the Everyday Pandemic. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (born 1971) is a Cuban writer from Havana. Since 2016, he has been studying for a PhD in Comparative Literature at Washington University in Saint Louis, ...
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Hospital Music by Roosha

Hospital Music by Roosha

January 10, 2023
The heart monitor blares mechanically, high frequency waves rolling through ear drums, cochlea, and finally colliding with nerves connecting to the brain, embedding a specific neural pattern in the memory forever. Behind lab coat whispers and clipboard conversations, behind the soothing therapeutic voices and informative professional reports, behind the silent, ...
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Five Poems by David Dephy

Five Poems by David Dephy

December 7, 2022
STILL LIFE (April 10, 2020) Still entwined. Time passes as time does: so much behind us, a little less to go. No easy ride: peace can be vexing—what we’ve left behind as the sun dips down low. THE OTHER SIDE OF ALONE (August 2, 2021) What if we sense our ...
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Three Poems by Kathleen Hellen

Three Poems by Kathleen Hellen

December 7, 2022
The incredibly complicated, solitary human being —a pandemic diptych Perhaps she is a student, worrying the degree—here, outside the service bay, beside the lot of shiny, stickered cars. No one near except this woman on a bench, who leaves as I approach, who thinks perhaps that I could kill her ...
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On Exiting: Fences & Wires

On Exiting: Fences & Wires

Simten Coşar
November 17, 2022
When we acknowledge the enclosures around our social and emotional lives, we get to reimagine a world without limits. When I lived abroad, finding asylum in places like Pittsburgh and Ithaca and in Ottawa, I was repeatedly asked how I felt about exiting my country. And I had to get ...
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