Still need to write more Covid poems? Here are some poetry videos that may help to inspire you

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Write Out Loud’s poetry competition may have finished, but there is still plenty of scope for writing Covid-19 poems. In South Yorkshire they have been running Hear My Voice 2020, a competition open to everyone in Barnsley, which is designed to create a poetic record of the impact of the Covid crisis on the people of the borough.

To help provide inspiration, Barnsley Museums have provided a YouTube channel of poets offering workshops. One video is by Matt Abbott, pictured, for the under-12s, in which he recites his own poem, ‘The Day The Screens Went Blank,’ and then invites youngsters to compose their own poems about life after lockdown, and remove one aspect of everyday life – in Matt’s case, computer screens – in doing so.

The workshops also include Ian McMillan's #PoetInLockdown sonnets and his readings of sonnets written by his audience; top tips for new writers by Eloise Unerman, Barnsley's poet laureate; making ‘poetry pizzas’ with Winston Plowes; listening to the sounds ofl lockdown with Antony Dunn; surviving the end of the world with Suzannah Evans; and making sense of the new Covid vocabulary with Diane Hinchliffe. Other poets providing workshops are Rachel Bower,  Louise Fazackerley, Toria Garbutt, Ray Hearne, and Helen Mort.

The competition may only be open to people living in Barnsley. But these videos are free for anyone to watch. 

You can find inspiration and the Barnsley poetry workshops here

◄ 'You say you see in me a strength that strengthens you'

George the Poet, London, 2014 ►

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