How to combat lockdown: poetry group's online magazine has readers in 20 countries
Poetry groups have reacted in different ways to the pandemic. Quite a few have shut up shop, waiting for it to blow over so we can all return to live venues. A number have switched to online events on platforms like Zoom and found it surprisingly easy to get used to. Judging from the green shoots of Zoom events appearing on Write Out Loud’s online Gig Guide, this is an increasing number.
Others have avoided the live online route, but still sought electronic ways to stay in touch and maintain creative links. Richard Hartley, pictured, is a Write Out Loud member, and until last year he was hosting a monthly poetry group in Manningtree, Essex. When the Covid lockdown arrived in late March, he decided to keep in contact with his group by sending poetry by email and this developed into curating a full-blown magazine.
He now publishes Poetry Plus – The Magazine, a monthly online electronic magazine, free for anyone to read. He says that the magazine is not a commercial venture, but instead an attempt to allow those interested to continue to read a wide cross-section of poetry “during these strange and difficult times”.
The magazine appears on the last Friday of each month, when Richard sends a link to the newest edition to an email list of readers. He said: “As it is a free magazine, I encourage readers to send the email on to their friends who have an interest in poetry. Many do so, with the result that we now have readers in 20 countries, scattered across the world.”
You can find the names of Write Out regulars within its pages, and submissions of poetry for possible publication, or poetry collections for potential review are welcomed. You can find back copies of Poetry Plus here