Including work from Paula Coomer and 38 other new and established voices


List of contributors:

Magdalena Ball, Bonnie Boucher, Anne Casey, Joy Castro, Quintin Collins, Paula Coomer, Laura Crucianelli, María Luisa Arroyo Cruzado, Linda DeFruscio-Robinson, Faye Rapoport DesPres, Erika Dreifus, Raphael Frumkin, Nicole Hardy, Will Jennings, Meg Kearney, Becky Kennedy, Sarah Kotchian, Rocco Lo Bosco, Sarah McElwain, Damian McNicholl, Lynda Miller, Lynn C. Miller, Sarah Moon, Kate Niles, Anne-Marie Oomen, Alicia Ostriker, Christine Page, Judith Simon Prager, Robert Root, Paul Singer, Phyllis M Skoy, Donna Baier Stein, Grace Anne Stevens, Alison Stone, Daniel B. Summerhill, Deborah Swift, Beatriz Terrazas, Meg Tuite, Susan J. Tweit


In a time of pandemic, touch is a risk and a luxury. Touch informs life not only as an intimacy but also as a teacher. Thanks to the editors of this vivid anthology for gathering writers’ accounts that remind us of connections in crisis, help us laugh and grieve, and allow us finally to be touched. 

—Hilda Raz, author of Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been: New and Collected Poems, 1986–2020

The Art of Touch is a remarkable collection of essays and poems on the motivations, transformations, catastrophes, and beauty that lie in human touch. The authors, who are poets, novelists, psychotherapists, and scientists, provide a full range of contemplations on their personal experience of touch, ranging from the terror of physical touch to the most recent advances in the study of touch by a neuroscientist. The pandemic has forced upon us the issue of the dangers of being touched by anyone and of touching something anyone else might have touched. We all know the dehumanizing effects of this situation just as we know the joy and beauty of touch with those we love. The reader will find that he or she is deeply touched by this book. 

—Thomas H. Ogden, psychoanalyst, author of This Will Do


Joan Schweighardt (Editor) 
JOAN SCHWEIGHARDT is the author of The Rivers Trilogy (Before We Died, Gifts for the Dead, and River Aria), The Last Wife of Attila the Hun, Under the Blue Moon, and other fiction and nonfiction titles. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Faye Rapoport DesPres (Editor) 
FAYE RAPOPORT DESPRES is the author of five books, including the memoir-in-essays Message From a Blue Jay, the three children’s books in the Stray Cat Stories children’s book series, and the flash fiction/micro-fiction collection Soul to Soul: Tiny Stories of Hope and Resilience. She is a graduate of the Solstice MFA program in creative writing, and her personal essays, fiction, and poetry have been published in a variety of literary journals. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.