Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

As a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and care for our community, Just Buffalo Literary Center has postponed a number of events, and we will follow the guidance of Buffalo Public Schools in terms of Just Buffalo Writing Center programming.

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George Saunders & Barbara Cole at BABEL, April 2019. Photo by Melody Lane.

BABEL update from Laurie Dean Torrell, Executive Director

Dear Friends,

We’ve missed you this spring—missed sharing the excitement, the conversations, the gathering of a community to celebrate and be inspired by literature, all the things that together make BABEL the landmark literary event that it is. We have always felt passionately that BABEL is about much more than our visiting authors. It’s about you, our audience and community, coming together and finding connection through the stories we all share. Thank you, as always, for making this community of readers and writers as vibrant and strong as it is.

To give you an update, Artistic & Associate Executive Director Barbara Cole has been in close contact with our Spring 2020 BABEL authors and their agents, working to reschedule their events for a time when in-person events are again possible. We don’t yet know when that will be—so much remains uncertain, as you well know. But we look to the future with a sense of cautious hope, and the safety & well-being of our community is and will continue to be at the forefront of all our decision-making.

We know you might be wondering: What about my BABEL tickets?

Valeria Luiselli at BABEL, Nov. 2019. Photo by Nancy J. Parisi.

For now, you can (1) continue to hold onto your Spring 2020 tickets, joining us to steward our beloved BABEL series into the future and knowing your seat is saved for the day we’ll reunite at Kleinhans; (2) convert the ticket value to a tax-deductible donation to our organization; or (3) request a ticket refund. To request a donation or refund of tickets, email babel@justbuffalo.org. If you’re keeping your tickets, no action needs to be taken at this time.

As we move through this time together, we remain so grateful for your support as Just Buffalo continues its mission of strengthening communities through the literary arts. During a time of social distance, enacting that mission means connecting through virtual writing workshops for youth and adults; weekly installations of sidewalk poetry around Buffalo; our ongoing LIT CITY VOICES video seriesadult and youth writing fellowships; and more. We continue to imagine and plan new ways of bringing our community together through literature during this time. If you’d like to get involved, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter on the home page of our website (just scroll to the bottom!), and follow us on social media (InstagramFacebook, and Twitter).

George Saunders & Barbara Cole at BABEL, April 2019. Photo by Melody Lane.

E.L. Doctorow once described writing like driving at night in the fog: “You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Right now, all of life feels like driving at night in the fog: slow-moving and clouded with uncertainty, though we keep moving forward as best we can. BABEL will be back & we’ll once again gather at Kleinhans for the magic and inspiration of a BABEL evening, even if we don’t yet know when. Please stay well and close in the meantime.

With hope and good wishes,

Laurie Dean Torrell
Executive Director