Live Virtual Group Session: 1pm EST April 19th 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session! We had 51 participants from the UK, Bahrain, Morocco, Turkey, Canada and 12 states including Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, and California.

Our text for the session was “Sci-Fi” by Tracy K. Smith. Looking at this poem, we considered the tension at the core of the poem. “Sci-fi” begins with promising language “no edges,” but quickly accumulates into a space that is empty, “unhinged.” The language of the poem creates discomfort with sibilant sounds, relentless future-tense verbs, and the turn of the poem on the word “but” that moves the mood from one of  hope to one of dread.  Participants seemed particularly struck by the contradictions in the text— the sense of control in an uncontrollable universe, the presence of realism/reality in a sci-fi universe, hope in a hopeless place. The final commenter turned the group discussion on its head, pointing to such hopeful images as the falling away gender distinctions, the absence of sexual threat, the eradication of early death, and the possibility of positive change. The poem, we concluded, in its very ambiguity trains us to entertain multiple readings and multiple ideas whenever we come together.

Our prompt for the session was “Write your Sci-Fi story.”

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Please join us for our next session: Monday, April 20th at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

There will be no edges, but curves.
Clean lines pointing only forward.
History, with its hard spine & dog-eared
Corners, will be replaced with nuance,
Just like the dinosaurs gave way
To mounds and mounds of ice.
Women will still be women, but
The distinction will be empty. Sex,
Having outlived every threat, will gratify
Only the mind, which is where it will exist.
For kicks, we'll dance for ourselves
Before mirrors studded with golden bulbs.
The oldest among us will recognize that glow—
But the word sun will have been re-assigned
To the Standard Uranium-Neutralizing device
Found in households and nursing homes.
And yes, we'll live to be much older, thanks
To popular consensus. Weightless, unhinged,
Eons from even our own moon, we'll drift
In the haze of space, which will be, once
And for all, scrutable and safe.

Tracy K. Smith, "Sci-Fi" from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011)

7 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 1pm EST April 19th 2020

  1. Alex Raines

    A sea of green
    Bathed in light
    Humidity dripping
    From the leaves
    Raucous with life
    The birds greet
    The waking sun
    Stronger than in
    The anthropomorphic
    Age when humans
    Still thought the
    World was made
    For them


  2. My sci-fi story ~~

    A new and fresh world awaits us.
    A world of lushness and plenty,
    of joy and contentment.

    One where there are no hungry children, nor abused children.
    All are accepted for who they are, without any qualifiers, without any pretense.
    A world where all voices are heard without fear of retribution,
    and reason dictates our actions.

    A world where humanity lives in balance with Nature.
    Where Nature is not subservient but revered for the sustenance it renders.

    One where we realize the uniqueness of each other,
    the beauty of each other,
    the value of each life.

    We have learned our lessons well as we move into this new epoch.
    I look to the next brilliant sunrise and new beginnings.


  3. Tammy Smith

    My Sci-Fi Story

    There are no clocks
    to keep ticking away
    time bombs
    have been replaced by heartbeats.

    Hearts join the places where hands used to hold guns.
    There are no shots or loud sirens
    destroying humanity-

    only the pulse and
    the metered measure of
    hands touching palms
    because everything is clean again.

    There is safety in sweat and sex
    for nurturing and good purposes
    we drive
    cars that don’t pollute the air or ourselves
    on highways across the sky
    where curves and lines are both wide and safe.


  4. Cocoon

    While I wait for transformation, I seek its refuge.
    It is my silky armor, offering warmth and protection
    as the world spins about me.
    Within its protective shell, I am safe from invaders I can not see.
    I am whole here, but life is different.
    Freedom to think and to explore and to grow.
    Opportunity to redefine myself and to prepare.
    To prepare for a new normal of thought and form.
    Must not move too quickly, for in patience comes strength.
    When the time is right, I will emerge.
    I will be different, but I will be better and stronger.
    I will stretch my wings and soar.


  5. Kana

    My Sci-fi Story

    A pair of scissors is drifting in space.
    Where is it going?
    I’m afraid it will soon hurt someone,
    attracted by some star’s gravity,
    gaining unbelievably strong power within it.
    Not caring about how worried I am,
    the pair of scissors is drifting in space without expression.
    Oh, it glittered.
    Time continues.


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