A Poem In Distance sends out poems as a gesture of "care" and "support" to friends and neighbors living in social isolation. Inspired by artist Erin Jang, from April 2020, Reyhaneh Yazdani (MFA 2019) has been re-writing and sharing poems on topics of care, resilience, community, and poetic expressions of hope through the mail.
"Similar to other practitioners, my art practice also shifted and changed after the pandemic and became more limited to space and materials available at home. I asked myself how this pandemic and the current situation could be utilized as a tactic for social change, and what is my role as an artist/designer in it?
"I grew up in a household where poems and poets were very important and respected. We would open Hafez or Rumi's books when we gathered around in family time, to read poems and get inspiration for our everyday dilemmas, or struggles. This is, for me, a way of showing up for one another, feeling nourished, and connecting to the community through these difficult times.
"I started writing poems from Persian Poets that I knew on unused thermal paper rolls I had in my storage at home, and sending them out in small envelopes to friends and family living in social isolation in Vancouver. I got unexpected feedback from recipients, sharing how positive and pleasant the experience was for them."
Reyhaneh will continue this project through the end of 2020. You can sign up here to receive poems monthly. You can also read the poems online on her website.