In pivotal moments of history like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to attend to and preserve the stories of different people experiencing the same phenomenon in their own ways. This project analyzed the public’s emotional experiences during the pandemic using methods of narrative and poetic inquiry. After reading 105 entries from the Pandemic Journaling Project, an online platform where people anonymously published journal entries reflecting on their pandemic experiences, narratives were categorized based on ten prominent emotional themes: anger, anxiety, fatigue, fear, loneliness, longing, loss, loss of control, stress, and uncertainty. Found poems were constructed for each emotion using words and phrases from the entries listed under each category, inserting poetic elements of structure, shape, and rhythm. By framing the project around emotion, the feelings aroused by the pandemic are brought forth in an evocative manner for consideration, interrogation, and presentation.


storytelling, found poetry, pandemic, narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry

Author Bio(s)

Isha Harshe is a graduate of the Judy Genshaft Honors College at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Please direct correspondence to iharshe@usf.edu.

Dr. Lindy Davidson is the Associate Dean for Curriculum & Instruction in the Judy Genshaft Honors College.


This work was presented at the Humanities Institute and the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care, and End-of-Life Studies at the University of South Florida as well as the Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Symposium at Johns Hopkins University.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







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