Speaking of Urgency

On 11 October 2020, between the coronavirus lockdowns, we held a writing and reading event at Hopscotch Reading Room in collaboration with The Poetry Project.

We’ve been navigating a time in which communication has been largely limited to online interactions, all while we have a growing and pressing need to remain connected, and find new ways of connecting. Current and ongoing events have underscored our urgency, and a drive for immediacy. SAND and The Poetry Project (with the gracious assistance of HOPSCOTCH Reading Room) are coming together to explore what the intersection of multiple languages, some in the act of translation, can do to breathe more life into our sense of community– as well as to examine borders, both real and imagined.

We believe that poetry can and should be accessible to everyone– whether you’ve been writing for years, or you’d like to try your hand. In our effort to make this possible, we welcome you, regardless of your experience, to write and submit poems (on the day) that explore your own sense of urgency. The event will conclude with poetry readings reflecting our diverse experiences of the present moment. A selection of the day’s poetry submissions will be read, each by its author, alongside pieces contributed to the event by guest poets.

This event will be held exclusively OUTDOORS in the courtyard of Hopscotch. We’ll be following the most recent hygiene measures, so make sure to come early as we’ll have limited capacity. More info about our hygiene plan will be announced before the event.


  • 2:00pm: Meet & Greet & Write
  • 4:00pm: Deadline for submissions
  • Music
  • 4:30pm: Readings, Pt.1
  • 5:00pm: Intermission
  • 5:15pm: Readings, Pt. 2

The Poetry Project is a Berlin-based non-profit organization that helps young people with and without refugee backgrounds get to know one another and have their stories heard through the power of poetry. The Poetry Project was conceived with a focus on helping unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in Germany. Starting a new life in a foreign country presents many challenges, not least of which is the language barrier. As a response to this, we are a proudly multilingual organization working in four languages: Arabic, Persian, German, and English. We host readings, workshops, and publish anthologies presenting our poets’ work online and in print. Our objective is clear: we seek to break down barriers and make poetry accessible to everyone – we know that poetry is a language we can all speak. For more info, visit thepoetryproject.de.