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How We Are was started by Nicole Walker and Matthew Batt. They're both writers and teachers and, beyond reading and writing, they're both enthusiastic eaters and listeners and purveyors of art of all stripes. More specifically:

NICOLE WALKER is the author of the collections The After-Normal: Brief, Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet from Rose Metal Press and Sustainability: A Love Story from Mad Creek Books. Her previous nonfiction work includes Where the Tiny Things Are, Egg, Micrograms, Quench Your Thirst with Salt, and a book of poems This Noisy Egg. She wishes she'd gone with the original title for her collection of poems, "Comeuppance," so she only had one book with Egg in the title, but like eggs or chickens, the poetry collection came first.

MATTHEW BATT is the author of Sugarhouse, a memoir about fixing up a Salt Lake City crackhouse and his life along with it. His work has been featured in Tin House, Outside Magazine, the Mid-American Review, the New York Times and elsewhere. He's an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and co-directs the Graduate Program in Creative Writing and Publishing.

How We Are was started by them during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, shortly after they were among the few who attended the Associated Writing Programs conference in San Antonio. They simply wondered, after seeing so few friends and colleagues at AWP, How is everybody?

It's a simple, but big, question, and they want to know.

The idea was to begin by asking a few people they know how they're doing, but then, like a benign virus, spread it forward and have people reply not to us, but to other people. Together we hope to post, in a time of crisis, a portrait of people simply thinking about other people.

How We Are was inspired by 7 Rings, a project created by Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker for the Huffington Post.

We were also inspired by Mapping SLC which was created by Paisley Rekdal.

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