Issue #4 of DPL’s Social Distanzine brings together art and writing from people who live and work at one of the 24/7 shelters that the City of Denver established in response to COVID-19. Every Sunday, writers living at this shelter gather into a small, distanced group and practice writing exercises, then share what they have written by speaking loudly through masks and, lately, the clunky whirring of a space heater. Issue #4: Writers and Artists in Fusion is guest-edited by three writers who live or have lived at this shelter and regularly attend the writing group.
While many of the pieces in this collection began in one of these weekly gatherings, not all writers or artists living at the shelter are able to, or desire to, participate in the writing group. This zine presented an exciting opportunity to invite in the work of others through calls for submissions posted on flyers around the buildings or more targeted solicitation of work from artists who can often be found with paper and colored pencils or a notebook and pen. The deliberate inclusion of work created by shelter staff and security shows the sense of community that lives with and works alongside people in this space.
Some of the artists and authors in this collection are prolific and published, and others are publicly sharing their work for the first time. In the words of one of the guest editors, the work in this zine was “contributed by unique individuals giving an inside look into their hearts and minds, allowing themselves to become relatable to people living outside of the shelter.” The DPL Social Distanzine team is grateful to the contributors, and particularly the guest editors, for trusting the public with “an inside look into their hearts and minds” during this remarkably challenging year.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in this community archive. If you'd like to participate in future publications, we invite you to submit your work. Thanks for reading!