poetry and COVID

May 10, 2021

The Francis Crick Institute, in London, is dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Among its many ongoing activities, the Institute is running a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination center and, in partnership with Poet in the City, has commissioned 12 poets to help create an exhibition entitled A drop of hope: poetry from a vaccination centre.

As visitors enter the building (at the rate of about a thousand per day), they are invited to fill out a postcard where they can reflect on the pandemic and note their thoughts and feelings about getting vaccinated. They leave the postcards as they exit and the poets use these reflections to inform and inspire their work.

Each poet is commissioned to write one poem and the first four were unveiled last week, displayed on the exterior of the Institute’s Manby Gallery. “Of the 12 poems which will form part of the final installation, two will be in Bengali and two in Somali, reflecting the ethnic diversity of the people who contributed to the project and the community in local Camden.” You can read the poems and learn more about A Drop of Hope here.

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