Letters Together (image courtesy the Virtual Care Lab, Navel)

The poet Mary Ruefle once likened a letter to a prayer, noting that both “originate in the pressing need to make a message directed at something unnear, that the absence of the unnear be made to appear present — that the presence of absence be palpably felt.” Sometimes the mere act of writing the letter fulfills this need.

On Thursday, April 8, the writer, photographer, and spiritual practitioner Sukhpreet Purewal will be leading an online communal letter-writing session dedicated “to those who have transcended.” As Purewal shared with Hyperallergic, they will provide prompts that “honor grief, death, and create space for what we want to say to those who are no longer living.”

The April session is part of a larger series titled Letters Together, one of the key programs of Navel’s Virtual Care Lab. Alice Yuan Zhang and Sara Suárez started the lab exactly one year ago, shortly after the pandemic reached the US. In that time, they have offered over 30 online gatherings, including experimental poetry workshops and participatory performances. There is an ongoing open call for proposals which anyone can submit to.

When: Thursday, April 8, 4pm (PST)
Where: online via Navel

More info at Navel

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.