We are delighted to announce a new poetry initiative to celebrate and encourage writing from across the capital in response to coronavirus.
In April 2020, the Museum of London put out an open call for submissions of both objects and first-hand experiences to reflect Londoners’ lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Collecting Covid project received a remarkable number of poems.
Inspired by this, and announced on National Poetry Day 2020, the RSL is delighted to be working in partnership with the Museum of London to celebrate the power of poetry to bring people together, even in times of significant isolation. The RSL will commission pairs of Poet Ambassadors – London-based poets from the RSL’s Fellowship with other poets from London’s communities – to write new work together and inspire other Londoners to write poems. Write Across London coincides with the announcement of the next Young People’s Laureate for London coordinated by Spread the Word who are contributing partners.
The RSL will be soliciting submissions from Londoners from late 2020, collecting them together on an interactive digital map of London launched in spring 2021 and drawing to a close on National Poetry Day 2021.
This programme is specifically to encourage the creativity of those who have been worst affected or most compromised by the pandemic across London – people of colour, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, older people, people with disabilities and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
We are grateful to the London Community Response Fund and City Bridge Trust, the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity Bridge House Estates, for supporting this programme.