Writing Workshop 2: Shelter in Place

07/19/2020 - 2:00pm

Readings list: Emily Dickinson, “I Dwell in Possibility,” “By My Window have I for Scenery”;

Emily Bernard, “The Purpose of a House”
Judith Ortiz Cofer, “More Room”
Samantha Irby, “A Case for Remaining Indoors”
Adrienne Brown on masks and race, “Seeing Race in a Pandemic”


1) Write a poem, essayistic piece, journal entry, or illustrate a few graphic panels about a room you have inhabited. How did the room shape your perception or your memories of a given time?

2) Design a Room of Requirement, for yourself, someone you know, a historical figure, a literary character, a character you create, etc. “It is a room that a person can only enter when they have real need of it. Sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped with the seeker’s needs.” (From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

3) “Shelter in Place”: Do you have any stories to share of your quarantine experience or from “sheltering in place”? What does this phrase mean to you? Did you take on any new activities or hobbies? Did the experience change the way you view your life? Following Emily Bernard’s question: what is the purpose of a house/home? Related idea: respond to keywords. Reflect upon any of the following: masks, handwashing, “distance learning”, returning home, quarantine, shelter (in place), 6 feet apart, etc.

4) Reflect on the quote from Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin: “...perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”