New NHS poetry anthology raises £2,500 for Covid-19 Emergency Fund
Profits from a poetry anthology about the NHS, These are the Hands, have raised £2,500 for the NHS Charities Together Covid 19 Emergency fund since the anthology's launch less than three weeks ago. The anthology, sub-titled Poems from the Heart of the NHS, is published by the small, independent Fair Acre Press, and Fair Acre’s Nadia Kingsley has been working flat out sending out orders.
Nadia said of the anthology, which was launched on 21 March: “I think it is a wonderful book, full of very real truthful poems. It feels like you are reading the NHS staff's secret diaries.”
The anthology has been edited by Dr Katie Amiel, a GP, and Deborah Alma, aka The Emergency Poet, and includes poems by NHS doctors and nurses, cleaners, interpreters and clerical staff. More well-known poets, including Michael Rosen, Roger McGough, Lemn Sissay and Wendy Cope have also donated poems to the collection. Michael Rosen has also written the anthology’s foreword.
Deborah Alma, who prescribes poems from the back of a 1970s ambulance as the Emergency Poet, and recently set up her permanent Poetry Pharmacy in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire, told the Guardian: “I know the book may not appear to offer any solace, but I think it does, in showing the depth of passionate care and commitment underneath the professional demeanour of those who work in the NHS.”
Meanwhile there is concern about Michael Rosen himself, pictured, who was admitted to hospital with suspected coronavirus and spent a night in intensive care. His family said on Twitter: “He is still poorly but has remained stable this week with some positive signs of improvement."