SHELTER by Nan Cohen

Nan Cohen is the author of two books of poetry, Rope Bridge and Unfinished City. The recipient of a Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and an NEA Literature Fellowship, she lives in Los Angeles and codirects the poetry programs of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

LOVE IN PANDEMIC TIMES by Galit Hasan-Rokem

Galit Hasan-Rokem is professor emerita of Hebrew literature and folklore research at the Hebrew University. In addition to many scholarly books and articles, she has published three poetry volumes in Hebrew and several poetry translations of major Swedish poets into Hebrew. She is also co-editor of The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present and cultural editor at the Palestine-Israel Journal.

WORKING AT HOME, DAY 5 by Amy Miller

Amy Miller’s full-length poetry collection The Trouble with New England Girls won the Louis Award from Concrete Wolf Press. Her writing has appeared in Barrow Street, Gulf Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Willow Springs, and ZYZZYVA. She lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she works for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is the poetry editor of the NPR listeners’ guide Jefferson Journal.

IMPOSSIBLE BOTTLE by Marc Alan Di Martino

Marc Alan Di Martino is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author of the collection Unburial (Kelsay Books, 2019). His work appears in Rattle, Baltimore Review, Palette Poetry, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Rust + Moth, Matador Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, and many other journals and anthologies. New work is forthcoming in Tinderbox, Free Inquiry, and First Things. His second collection, Still Life with City, will be published by Pski’s Porch in 2020. He lives in Italy.

SUNLIGHT IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT by Jeneva Stone

Jeneva Stone is the author of Monster, a mixed genre collection. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell and Millay Colonies. Her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Waxwing, Scoundrel Time, and APR, with work forthcoming in New England Review.

ROOM Cover 2.20 issue

TREMORS by Hattie Myers

“To be stupefied,” Jared Russell explains in his provocative essay Stupidity, “is to regress in the face of the unexpected, to have one’s critical faculties paralyzed.” The contributors to Room 2.20 may be terrified and even heartbroken in the face of the unexpected, but they are not stupefied.

Blur typography

DIVING INTO THE STREAM by Daniel S. Benveniste

I relocated from San Francisco to Caracas, Venezuela, in March 1999, just one month after Hugo Chávez assumed the presidency. He presented himself as a socialist intent on helping the underclasses and ending corruption, and I was ready to sign up. In addition to my practice and teaching at Universidad Central de Venezuela and Universidad Católica Ándres Bello, I started writing a monthly article in the English-language newspaper under the title “The Psychology of Everyday Life,” addressing topics such as childrearing and adolescent issues.

TRUMP’S WALL by Sheldon Bach

In the Anglo-American world, men are brought up to value a body image that is hard, flat, and impermeable, more like a wall, whereas women are taught to value or at least be content with one that might be softer or more flexible and is certainly leaky, like a fence.

Trump Frace Tile

PROJECTION AS A POLITICAL WEAPON by Chris Bell and Gary Senecal

Donald Trump’s penchant for attacking his opponents by projecting onto them his own disavowed personal attributes and apparent self-assessments has been a consistent feature of his rhetorical style and remarked upon by many observers. For instance, in her recent book The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump, Michiko Kakutani (2019) observes, “Trump has the perverse habit of accusing opponents of the very sins he is guilty of himself: ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ ‘Crooked Hillary,’ ‘Crazy Bernie.’

STAYING THE COURSE by Hattie Myers

We have lost our grip on any shared sense of reality. Post-Truth philosophers provide cold comfort, telling us we haven’t really lost anything; we have, in fact, gained understanding that reality has never been there to grip. And the deconstructivists tell us that the credibility of any source (and we can include the post-truth philosophers here) is up for grabs. Any way you turn it, truth is subjective and personal. Truth is what we agree upon. Truth is tribal. ROOM 10.19 weaves together a few psychoanalytic truths. We do not hold these truths to be self-evident. Psychoanalytic truths are hard won.