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  • Writer's pictureBulb Culture Collective

BCC Shines A Light on: Jasmine Sawers

Name of the piece published by BCC:

When/where was it originally published:

Ghost Heart Literary in 2021

What is the background of the piece? What led you to write it? What’s your process?

As you might imagine, this was an early pandemic piece, written when all the lit noise was about how

we shouldn’t write about the pandemic, not because we didn’t have perspective on it yet (which would

almost be reasonable but for the very premise of telling people what they can and cannot write) but

because it was, somehow, cringey. I reject cringe. I reject the concept that we should be shame-faced in

front of others and let that guide our actions. Anyway, I was of the mind that it was happening to us, it

was a mass trauma that we could not pretend ourselves out of, and, someday, even the fiction could be

valuable as a reflection of the times, which is what all literature ultimately is.

We lived in a basement apartment when shelter-in-place came through. No one had been stomping

around above us for two blessed months. Then, suddenly, someone moved in. I was struck by how

isolated we could be while experiencing the intimacy of living like stacked sardines—there was no

meeting the neighbors, no shooting the shit, no exchange of numbers. There was only fear and

devastation and solitude. One or two nights early on, I could hear our new neighbor crying, which

inspired the occasion of this piece.

How did you feel when it was first published and how have your thoughts or feelings on the piece

changed from then to now?

It’s grown on me. I didn’t think it was much of anything at first, but now I feel it really strikes at the dual

bleakness and hope of what some of us were feeling at the time. Three years on, the isolation has taken

its toll, will continue to take its toll. None of us are okay, I don’t think.

Is there a specific message you’d like readers to take away from reading this piece?

I don’t consider it my job to tell people how to interpret my work.

Where can readers find more of your work? (Website/social media, etc)

All my work is linked through on my website, You can find me, for the time being,

sailing that sinking Twitter ship @sawers.


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