Poetry & Covid 19 Anthology (Shearsman Press) Outstanding International Poetry Collaborations Excel!

Carol Leeming MBE FRSA, poetry is featured alongside her poetry collaborator Rakshan Rizwan, in a new ground breaking, excellent Poetry and Covid Anthology, of international poetry collaborators responding to the unprecedented world wide pandemic. The poetry anthology is published by Shearsmans Press, it was launched online in February 2021, with an event hosted by Anthony Caleshu and Rory Waterman, Plymouth University and Nottingham University respectively, and featured poets reading their poems with Q&A. It is worth noting, during this time of pandemic, poetry, and poetry anthologies on this subject, have flourished. They are seen as essential, as people have sought poetry to express and document, a common humanity, in the face of lockdowns and a perilous health crisis.

However, this particular collection, most deftly edited by Anthony Caleshu and Rory Waterman, with an illuminating and expansive introduction, is somewhat different. As it features very diverse highly acclaimed poets from across the world and Britain, working together to craft their divergent poetic responses to the Covid 19 pandemic, the scale of which we have never known before since the early part of the century.. The 19 pairs of poets selected, were commissioned last year, and their contributions form part of a joint project with Plymouth University and Nottingham Trent University funded by AHRC. Another part of this project, is a rather busy website which has seen unparalleled activity, in terms of visits and also the many poetry contributions, responding to Covid 19, from a diverse range of people across the world and UK.

All the above elements: the outstanding anthology, diverse online poems and video poetry responses, posted on the Poetry and Covid 19 Website. All amount to an incredibly important body of work, to be utilised, discussed and cherished for many years to come, by generations of academics, poets, artists and many others. Such. is the abundance of creativity, power and providence this historic collection of work affords.

The pairs of contributors are: Sinéad Morrissey and Jan Wagner (trans. Iain Galbraith); Carol Leeming and Rakhshan Rizwan; George Szirtes and Alvin Pang; Vahni Capildeo and Vivek Narayanan; Rory Waterman and Togara Muzanenhamo; Rachael Allen and Ilya Kaminsky; Zoë Skoulding and Yana Lucila Lema Otavalo; Inua Ellams and Omar Musa; Matthew Welton and Hazel Smith; Vidyan Ravinthiran and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra; Anthony Caleshu and Mariko Nagai; Selima Hill and Wang Xiaoni (trans. Eleanor Goodman); Declan Ryan and Linda Stern Zisquit; David Herd and Sharmistha Mohant; Luke Kennard and Hwang Yu Won (trans. Jake Levine); André Naffis-Sahely and Stacy Hardy; Harriet Tarlo and Craig Santos Pérez; Jennifer Cooke and Jèssica Pujol Duran; Momtaza Mehri and A. E. Stallings.

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Links:

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

Black History Video Loughborough University #Black Lives Matter

In the wake of the momentous world wide movement, in response to #Black Live Matter movement. We find ourselves in the arts cultural sector, required to take necessary anti-racist actions, to decolonize curriculums and practices, create more opportunity for culturally diverse groups, in order to dismantle systemic institutional racism in society.

Further more , taking such action will galvanise and promote Equality Diversity and Inclusion-, social justice and equality, across the board for Women, LGBTQ Disabled Groups and all other currently excluded groups.

I was fortunate during Black History Month for Loughborough University, to give a talk on British Black History which is British History ‘my Black History is your History is our History’ This was well received, it offers crucial knowledge to acquire ,to be able to understand the UK, the World, its increasingly diverse society and communities. To promote respect and understanding, and importantly for White people, to learn to listen how to become better allies, to understand racism, as a toxic legacy of Slavery, Imperialism and Colonialism, and how it still its effects society today. To then learn how best to make change now, to effectively dismantle centuries old disadvantage and disparities. We owe it to current and future generations to do this. I do hope you will watch the video below and share with colleagues. In addition there are additional links to see and share re #BLM to become an ally.

Video https://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/black-history-month/

Links for White Allies – To Understand the Struggle Against Racism White Supremacy & Privilege

Books

Why I Am no longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

https://www.waterstones.com/book/why-im-no-longer-talking-to-white-people-about-race/reni-eddo-lodge/9781408870587

We New Stories: Challenging Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent by Nesrine Malik

https://www.waterstones.com/book/we-need-new-stories/nesrine-malik/9781474610421

Web Spaces

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/culture-change-toolkit#section-1

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/equality/resources/how-to-be-a-white-ally/

https://www.stophateuk.org/category/racism/

https://www.anothermag.com/design-living/12573/practical-ways-to-fight-racism-in-the-uk-today-black-lives-matter-london