This book is a gathering of community. It chronicles our Pandemic Times through the eyes, hearts, and minds of poets. The pandemic took away many things - a bevy of customary comforts, delights, and celebrations - but it also gave us surprising gifts. We hope that what you read here will help you find meaning from your own Pandemic Times and bring a new vision of what it means to be human.
On these pages, you will find poems by Jane Hirshfield, Ted Kooser, Dorianne Laux, Stephen Dunn, Naomi Shihab Nye, Thomas Centolella, Marsha de la O, Terry Lucas, Barbara Quick, Melissa Studdard, Loretta Diane Walker, Marge Piercy, and many more poets who will delight and amaze you - some well known and others who also deserve to be read. Every poem in this book has a gift for you.
"Poems, like birds, are alive. Each one has a heart, wings, and their own song. Poems remind us, like Kokopelli and the birds, that we too are storytellers, teachers, healers, and that we too have the ability to sing a beautiful future into existence."
- Nancy Lee Melmon
"Life hasn't changed much for me during the pandemic. I read, I write, I binge watch. I've been gardening, cleaning out old files, closets, drawers, and tossing what I no longer need. I've been doing what I always do when I have time on my hands, puzzles. It reminds me that the broken can be reassembled, which is what we are in the process of doing right now as a people, as a country."
- Dorianne Laux
"To write a single poem is a selfless act and a minor miracle. In times of trouble people often turn to poems, and poems often turn into prayers."
- Joseph Zaccardi