Poetry and Covid: A Collaborative Project

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Poetry and Covid-19 is an international project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and led by Anthony Caleshu at the University of Plymouth and Rory Waterman at Nottingham Trent University. The aim of the project is to consider the potential roles of poetry as a mode of discourse during the Covid-19 pandemic. There project has a website, poetryandcovid.com, which includes poems about the pandemic submitted from all over the world, comments on those from readers, and videos. The website heartily welcomes submissions – both of original poems about the times we are living through and/or other pandemics – and comments. Poems and comments can be submitted to poetryandcovid@gmail.com. The website also features a monthly photography competition, and writing prompts.

The project also includes the publication of a unique anthology, Poetry and Covid-19: An Anthology of Contemporary International and Collaborative Poetry. This will be published in March 2021, a year into the Covid-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020, the editors invited nineteen UK poets to partner with poets from around the world, to work collaboratively on poems responding to the virus. The poems subsequently collected for the book are as personal as they are communal, and as local as they are international, and are extraordinarily varied, both stylistically and thematically. Between them, the authors reside in all of the world’s permanently populated continents, recognising that the pandemic has truly hit us everywhere. Their diversities of aesthetics and poetics, of Covid experiences – at a distance and/or embodied, anecdotal and/or dramatic – are further significant to their inclusion and their work. The poet pairings (and, where relevant, the translators they worked with) are as follows:

George Szirtes and Alvin Pang (Singapore)
Sinéad Morrissey and Jan Wagner (Germany), Iain Galbraith (translator, Germany/Scotland)
Vahni Capildeo and Vivek Narayanan (India/Zambia)
David Herd and Sharmistha Mohanty (India)
Rachael Allen and Ilya Kaminsky (USA)
Jennifer Cooke and Jessica Pujol Duran (Chile)
Matthew Welton and Hazel Smith (Australia)
Luke Kennard and Yuwon Hwang (South Korea)
Momtaza Mehri and A. E. Stallings (Greece)
Vidyan Ravinthiran and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra (India)
Inua Ellams and Omar Musa (Australia)
Carol Leeming and Rakhshan Rizwan (Pakistan)
Declan Ryan and Linda Stern-Zisquit (Israel)
André Naffis-Sahely and Stacey Hardy (South Africa)
Rory Waterman and Togara Muzanenhamo (Zimbabwe)
Anthony Caleshu and Mariko Nagai (Japan)
Zoë Skoulding and Yana Lucila Lema (Ecuador)
Selima Hill and Wang Xiaoni (China), Eleanor Goodman (translator, USA)
Harriet Tarlo and Craig Santos Perez (Guam/Hawaii, USA)

Videos of many of these collaborations can be found at https://poetryandcovid.com/videos/

The book can be ordered from Shearsman Books: 

https://www.shearsman.com/store/Caleshu-and-Waterman-eds-Poetry-and-Covid-19-p294597003