Stockport Write Out Loud poets record eight weeks of lockdown in anthology
Members of Stockport Write Out Loud have produced an anthology of pandemic poetry, titled Eight Weeks of Lockdown, a week by week poetic diary about their thoughts and experiences.
Each week took a theme derived from one of the preceding week’s poems. The anthology has eight sections, and the first one, ‘The Exhibition Nobody Sees’, refers to the fact that group’s second collaborative exhibition with Stockport Art Guild at Stockport art gallery, called Woven Transitions, was closed by Covid-19 before it even opened. The ekphrastic poems and pictures that they refer to are still up there in the gallery.
At the end of the anthology, Stockport Write Out Loud’s organiser John F Keane concludes: “The unfolding crisis is described in batches of themed poems, week after week, capturing every nuance of the unfolding crisis. At first there is confusion and fear, with many poets keenly observing nature burgeoning outside their windows. The group meditate on their collaborative exhibition with Stockport Art Guild, with the deserted exhibition becoming a potent symbol of urban abandonment.
“This gives way to a more reflective tone, as the poets gradually settle into the new situation. Around week six, we find humour and wit starting to return, albeit tinged with nostalgic melancholy for happier times.”
The titles of the other seven sections are ‘Madness in the Shopping Aisles’, ‘Hope’, ‘Zooming to a New Life’, ‘Out of Imagination’, ‘Open-Mouthed Moon’, ‘Digging Deeper’, and ‘Bully The Week’. Poets in the anthology are Martin Elder, Andy Millican, Andy N, Amanda Steele, Nigel Astell, David Keyworth, Andy Cash, Valerie Judge, Ed Whyman, Linda Cosgriff, Dorinda MacDowell, Nicola Hulme, and John F Keane.