Our Daily Breather: Maintaining Sanity During A Pandemic In Our Daily Breather, we ask writers and artists how to find calm and comfort in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Writer Hanif Abdurraqib recommends baking Bundt cakes — and lots of other things.
NPR logo Our Daily Breather: Hanif Abdurraqib On Finding Comfort In Baking

Our Daily Breather: Hanif Abdurraqib On Finding Comfort In Baking

Hanif Abdurraqib and a Bundt cake he made. Hanif Abdurraqib hide caption

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Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib and a Bundt cake he made.

Hanif Abdurraqib

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Hanif Abdurraqib

Where: Columbus, Ohio

Recommendation: Baking


I've found myself turning to baking, with an eye towards things I'd never considered making before. I'll just look of recipes and find things that look good, and try to replicate them, provided I have the ingredients or can easily get them. It's a different way of reaching to make something beautiful.

I'm not normally one for baking — I get that it is mostly all about the following of instructions, but I think that has always made the task more daunting for me and my many anxieties. If I failed, that failure would be speaking to some greater inability, or it might tell me something about myself. But, my anxieties, though busy as ever, aren't very interested in whether or not I fail at the moment. Also, I have such a low bar for edible desserts. Even a failed baked good is still a baked good worth consuming, in my home.


Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist and cultural critic. His latest book is the poetry collection A Fortune for Your Disaster.