During last week’s Jam Session, Karen VanKirk asked us “who will we be when our masks come off” which launched an intense conversation and spawned a lot of reflection and writing amongst our small group. Then later that evening I listened to an episode of Throughline that explored the history of medical masks (including both the bubonic plague and the Manchurian plague) and boom – a writing prompt was born.

This week reflect and write about the masks that we have adopted ourselves or the masks that have been forced upon us.Many of us slip in and out of masks throughout the day – throughout our lives – and it be easy to lose track of which is the mask and which is really us. Masks have a fraught history with both heroes and villains adopting them to protect their identity.

And for your further inspiration, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Mask of Anarchy [Excerpt], because it so beautifully connects last week’s revolutionary prompt with this week’s. But of course we must be wary of…The Poem as Mask.

Don’t forget to share your writing using the #JustWrite hashtag and check out a new writing community the Morehead Writing Project formed to support us during these trying times.