WVIK, Quad Cities NPR and the Midwest Writing Center have teamed up to produce a new podcast that examines the tumultuous time that was 2020.

“These Interesting Times,” named after the MWC collection published in 2021, features 47 local writers reading their own pieces, based on their experiences weathering the global pandemic.

“2020 was a disaster…” reads the back cover of the QC anthology. “In these moving and eloquent essays and poems, stories and artwork writers and artists of the Quad Cities report on the disasters of 2020. With humor, precision, and ruthless clarity, the artists in this collection present a stunning mosaic of the ruptures, beauties, gifts, and costs of this utterly unprecedented year. Each piece is a glimpse into what was happening inside our personal pockets of isolation and virtual realities.”

“WVIK is committed to elevating the voices of Quad Citizens and ‘These Interesting Times’ is evidence of this commitment. I think listeners will enjoy these essays and stories and might even find commonalities between the experiences of these talented writers and their own lived experience,” WVIK station manager Jared Johnson said in a WVIK release.

Ryan Collins, executive director of Midwest Writing Center, states, “While the year this anthology time capsules has passed, many of the issues that made it so challenging continue to be front and center in many of our lives. We are thrilled to partner with WVIK on this project to showcase so many voices from our community and their stories of perseverance—many of them publishing their writing for the first time—and to see those stories have a life beyond the page.” 

“These Interesting Times,” funded by the Illinois State Library, will launch on May 25th with the release of an introduction and the first 3 episodes. Remaining episodes will be released one per weekday through June 30th on the WVIK app or wherever you listen to podcasts. “In These Interesting Times” will also be released on the APRIS system at a later date.

The Midwest Writing Center is the only literary arts nonprofit organization in the Quad Cities. MWC assists writers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels to develop their craft, find audiences, and establish a writing community where they can learn and grow in a supportive environment.

Through public readings, workshops, critique groups, contests, publications, and partnerships with other organizations, the center enriches the community with its emphasis on creativity, education, and self-expression through writing. For more information, visit www.mwcqc.org.

For more on WVIK, visit its website.