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.