époque press
pronounced: /epƏk/
definition: /time/era/period

é-zine // isolation // editorial

 

Welcome to the eighth edition of our é-zine on the theme ‘Isolation’. When we announced the theme, earlier this year, we were just entering the first lockdown and we had assumed that after a period of several months we would slowly be getting back to a semblance of normality. Yet we still find ourselves in an uncertain world, with the continuing need to socially distance, and even lockdown at a local level, in order to keep ourselves safe. This imposed period of isolation has certainly fuelled the creative process, we have been overwhelmed with the volume of submissions received and after a tough selection process we are now delighted to share all of the features for this edition.

 

First up we have contributions from our very own list of published authors, charting their own personal experiences of lockdown. Craig Jordan-Baker has provided an audio compilation, titled, Two-Metre Island, which is a highly personalised account of his experience of lockdown and his reflections upon the recent death of his mother. David Brennan, in his Virus Diaries, gives us a front-line glimpse into what it was like for him in China at the very outset of the Covid19 outbreak, through both words and photography. Jamie Guiney, in the short story Lockdown, charts his own experience of testing positive for Covid19 and its debilitating effects. Lynn Buckle, who also tested positive for Covid19, was hospitalised and is still suffering from the long-term side effects of it, has channelled her experience into an experimental literary collage titled Town Crier.

 

We are also delighted to be able to feature a compilation of journal entries and poetry by Juwairiah M, titled Voices During Quarantine, a powerful reflection on the experiences and thoughts of a British Muslim woman facing lockdown during Ramadhan. On the subject of lockdown, and its impacts, we also feature a long form essay by Eoin McShane, titled Active Citizenship in the Time of Coronavirus, which looks at the collective experience of isolation and what it means to tacitly choose to participate in something bigger and more encompassing than ourselves.

 

The short stories we have included all look at isolation from a different perspective, the impact isolation can have on individuals and what causes a sense of isolation, without directly dealing with the current pandemic. Ellen Vinke’s short story, The Forms, gives us an interesting take on the isolating effect of bureaucracy, whilst Steven Weinberg’s story, Vowels, explores how an intensive analysing of verbal communication can have psychologically isolating repercussions. Caroline Farrell, in her story Boomer Trudy, Sadhbh Moriarty, in Maud’s Rabbit and Jemimah Wei, in Light at the End of the Pail, all bring their own unique interpretation to the psychological effect of isolation and how it can impact and shape an individual’s world and their experience of it. In Nine to Five, Laurie Murphy looks at the isolating effect of social media, exploring the detachment of the experience on those who are watching or being watched.

 

Amber Rollinson’s work is a combination of poetry and cyanotype artwork, the poetry explores the difficulties of communication and what gets lost between people, whilst the cyanotypes accentuate a feeling of emptiness and absence. The link to landscape and environment is also evident in the spoken word poetry, Role Play, by Olivia Ryan, which examines what it means to be disconnected from the events that unfurl around us, whilst seeking to reconnect with the natural world and our sense of self.

 

Harriet Truscot’s visually striking poem, i in solitary, takes us deep into the fear of solitary confinement and Lucy Campos’s poem, Before Bedtime, focuses on our own field of vision and how we look at the shrinking space of the everyday environment we have been subjected to. We are also delighted to welcome back D S Maolalai whose poetry avoids direct reference to lockdown and instead explores isolation through his own historic experiences of living alone.

 

We hope you enjoy all of the pieces we have been privileged to feature for you in this edition of our é-zine. Please do spread the word to help get the work of all the contributors to the audience they deserve.

 

Sean & Adam