“Dispatch from Wellington, New Zealand” by Ryn Richmond


There was a job listed for a librarian position recently. It’s with a women’s prison. In all the discussions I have been a part of over the last month, prisoners are a population that hasn’t been discussed. My closest circles here and abroad are poor, immunocompromised, even though highly educated. Within these circles, there’s an intersection of writers, artists, teachers, policy workers, medical workers. . . Many of us worry we’ll lose our housing, our medications, our jobs, our sources of food. Each worry is founded, even with stimulus packages.

And yet. The only discussion I’ve seen regarding prisoners and the virus is a single post about access to menstrual products. Since grocery stores are running out of toilet paper, pads, and tampons during the public’s panic buying, what’s left for the prisoners?

Amidst all the discussions on socialism versus capitalism, racism, medically relevant information, and social distancing, just a single post.

–March 18, 2020


ryn.2Ryn Richmond is an American residing in Wellington, New Zealand. Her articles have been published in Twin Cities Geek magazine and Books & Quills Magazine. Her creative works are published in The Longest Night Watch Volume 2: A Charity Anthology for the Alzheimer’s Association, Pride Park: An Anthology to Support LGBT Freedom, Invisible: The Mystery of Hidden Illness, and The 4th Floor Journal. She has a short story in the forthcoming The Longest Night Watch Volume 3: A Charity Anthology for the Alzheimer’s Association.