Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman On Uncertainty and Inspiration by Michelle Woo (from Medium)

Amanda Gorman: “Rarely does a writer say “I’m gonna have a great idea” and it comes. Instead you have to wait lovingly, preparing a place for inspiration to strike in your life. It’s like tending soil, though you might not have seeds yet, so that when they do arrive, they can thrive. For me this “gardening” is staying curious and open and disciplined, sucking in the light of the world until one ray hits my tilted earth just right.

Are You on ‘Clock Time’ or ‘Event Time?’ by Daniel Kadavy (from Forge on Medium)

“…when people try to do creative work on clock time, they often set themselves up to fail. Consider this study on creativity from Stanford University: Researchers found that the busier knowledge workers were, the less creative they were. The more they struggled to fit their work into the time available, the more they let creativity fall by the wayside. That’s because creative work is not methodical. Ideas arrive unpredictably. If you try to produce results on your specific timeline, you become stressed, which lowers your creativity.”

Ten Ableist Tropes to Jettison in 2021 by Bitter Gertrude (from Medium via American Theatre Magazine)

“I’ve seen scripts where a disabled person is on stage, but never given any lines or any meaningful action, often partially concealed — back to the audience, or partially behind a screen, for example. In each of these cases, the disabled person is a symbol of something affecting the able-bodied people. When a silent disabled character appears on stage yet is marginalized from the action, the disabled body is minimized, a prop rather than a human being. And those silent roles, removed from all meaningful action, are almost always played by able-bodied actors, which renders disabled people voiceless, powerless, and entirely invisible. The voiceless, powerless, disabled body is framed as a burden, an object of ridicule, an object of disgust, or an object of pity. An object, never a subject.”

Whose America and Whose Dreams? (An interview with the creative team of the play ‘American Dreams’) by Zaina Salame (from Howlround)

Leila Buck: “The rule we always remind ourselves of as creators is: “Don’t ask questions you don’t want real answers to.” Particularly if we want to engage people who don’t all have the same opinion or beliefs about something divisive…”


Tamilla Woodard: “How you work is the work. Process makes its way into product one way or another. They’re not separate. And the audience can see and feel that. The same way one has to consider how content determines form. What’s the best means by which to disseminate this experience or share this story? And how we treat each other shows in the work we share.”

What I Learned About Love When I Stopped Being Honest by Michael Leviton (from The Atlantic)

“As I experimented with small talk, I noticed how others used honesty to establish intimacy. I’d always seen “hiding feelings” as cowardly, but for other people, the selectiveness of their honesty was what gave it meaning. They’d choose who was special enough to hear their secrets. My indiscriminate, automatic honesty had meant that I’d tell a personal story the same way to a stranger as I would to my closest friend; that cheapened anything I shared. Anyone who loved me wanted to see a side that I didn’t show others, but I hadn’t saved one for them. Immediate honesty was impatient; if I wanted people to be honest with me, I had to earn it.”

The Loneliness Pandemic by Jacob Sweet (from Harvard Magazine)

“Loneliness is not monolithic. When most people think of the feeling, they think of what Nobel calls psychological or interpersonal loneliness. “Like, ‘Do I have a friend? Do I have someone I can tell my troubles to?’” he says. But there’s also existential loneliness: “Do I fit into the universe? Does my life have any meaning, purpose, weight, valence, mission?” He finds such questions particularly troublesome for 18- to 24-year-olds, who are, studies have shown, the loneliest group in the country. The third type of loneliness is societal: “If I enter a room, is my arrival both anticipated and welcomed?” Prejudice can augment this type of loneliness, Nobel says, most notably through racism. “But it goes beyond race, class, and gender preference,” he adds. “It affects anyone subject to exclusion, including people who don’t meet our beauty standards, people with disabilities, even many older adults….Society systematically excludes people, often.””

The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship by Amanda Mull (from The Atlantic)

“During the past year, it’s often felt like the pandemic has come for all but the closest of my close ties. There are people on the outer periphery of my life for whom the concept of “keeping up” makes little sense, but there are also lots of friends and acquaintances—people I could theoretically hang out with outdoors or see on videochat, but with whom those tools just don’t feel right. In my life, this perception seems to be largely mutual—I am not turning down invites from these folks for Zoom catch-ups and walks in the park. Instead, our affection for each other is in a period of suspended animation, alongside indoor dining and international travel. Sometimes we respond to each other’s Instagram Stories.”

Photo by Chris Bai on Unsplash