SESSION/relay: Alize Zorlutuna
How to write for an imagined place
The word “place” can refer to a myriad of locales, both physical and psychic. Place is real earth beneath our feet as well as imagined: a relic of memory in the privacy of our thoughts; an historic construction; a fantasy of elsewhere; a felt sense; a longing. Place is a gathering of stories, mythologies, and hauntings. It can be a conjuring of responsibilities—a teacher. Place can have its own gravity, as in contested territories—Palestine, Kashmir, Kurdistan, and Turtle Island—that are at once historic, imagined, and lived present realities of enduring violence. Yet place can exist beneath words and above borders as speculative; as world-building.
How to write for an imagined place proposes a collaborative writing process, distributed across distances and the imaginations of its participants. Inviting responses to a collection of prompts sent through the mail, this multi-directional exchange offers a series of encounters and reflections. As we continue to physically distance, this project conjures some place we might gather, if not face to face, then through the meeting of ideas and impressions. [—Alize Zorlutuna]