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This book is emerging in the UK in April 2020. Coronavirus has already killed thousands of people in this country and many thousands more around the world.
We are under orders to stay at home unless it is essential to go out. If we are key workers, we go out to work. If we are not, we show our solidarity to those who do and work from home if we can.
We demand that our and others' incomes are maintained and our health protected. We volunteer with the local mutual aid groups that have filled the gaps left by a stripped-down welfare state and a slow reaction to the pandemic from the government.
And we write poems. Sad poems, funny poems, angry poems, touching poems. Formal poems, rhyming poems, free verse and rants.
On 18 March, poet Janine Booth set up the Facebook group CoronaVerses: poems from the pandemic, hoping to provide a forum to address the many issues and experiences that people were facing, but not expecting it to attract the volume of verse that it did. All the poems in this book were posted in the group within its first week. So were hundreds more. We put together this anthology as an act of solidarity and a contribution to the fight against the virus. All proceeds go to We Shall Overcome: a raised fist and a helping hand.
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Contributing poets: Attila the Stockbroker, Steve White, Ian Winter, Sez Thomasin, Mark Connors, Gill Lambert, Margaret Corvid, Fay Roberts, Merryn Williams, Hilary Walker, Rhoda Thomas, Leo Capella, Sophie Gresswell, Bridie Breen, Barry Fentiman Hall, Joseph Redford, Laura Taylor, Pete Ramskill, Janine Booth, Gail Something-Else, Mark Marusic, Paul Blackburn, Megan Peel, Emma Dalmayne, Owen Collins, Rebecca Mallowan, Katie Greenbrown, Merry Cross, Tricia Elliott, Martin Hayes, Cathy Smith, James Denny, Gordon Zola, Cardinal Cox, Paul Dovey, Paul Waring, Ushiku Crisafulli, Melanie Branton, Lucy Joanne, Jan McCarthy, Herbie Herbs, Nick Toczek, Callum Brazzo, Alexandra Forshaw, Pete Yeandle, Elizabeth Faitarone, Randall L. Horton, Mary Kerr, Jason Travis, Ian Whiteley, Ron Graves, Patrick Kealey, and a composite poem convened by Jimmy Andrex
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