Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University have brought together poets from around the world to write new poems about the recent days past and the weeks ahead. The poets were invited to write directly about the Coronavirus pandemic or about the personal situation they find themselves in right now.
Great to be part of this project. Click here to view the poems.
I submitted a selection of what I loosely term haiku, which you can access here. Rereading them, they somehow seem quite remote from the crisis. There again, that’s probably a reflection of my response: to walk, to distance myself, to meditate.
Another online project that has been a joy to be part of is John Foggin’s ‘When All This is Over’ anthology. It began as an invitation to respond to Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s poem Swineherd and snowballed from there. It’s currently up to day 8, which covers letters K and L. My poem is the Phrenologist so, as they’re being presented in alphabetical order, I’ll have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading the variety of poems the brief has generated, and the way they’re being presented (as an illuminated manuscript).
I know how much time it takes to collate and process writing online, so many thanks to everyone who is making these projects happen. I value, more than ever, the sense of community they engender.
Now I’m off for a short walk – round to my parents to drop some shopping off. It’s breezy out there, quite fresh. I’ve just gone out onto the patio to check. There’s a wood pigeon in the birdbath, listing side to side to get water under his wings, and there’s a starling perched right next to it, waiting its turn. Such are the small details of life I’ve come to cherish in lockdown. I hope I retain some of this attentiveness as restrictions are lifted.