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WRITE Where We Are Now (WWWAN)

During lockdown, Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University brought together poets from around the world to write new poems during the Coronavirus crisis.

The poets were invited to write directly about the pandemic or about the personal situation they found themselves in during lockdown.

The collection features poems written from the earliest stages of the pandemic up until 30th June 2020. The poems are presented in date order, and each includes a note about where it was written. 

Carol Ann Duffy wrote:

Unbecoming Maramot‘ by Romalyn Ante (In my room, after a day’s work as a nurse: 16 March 2020

We have chosen the poem ‘Unbecoming Maramot’ for this activity, but you can choose any poem you like from the WWWAN site.

We chose Romalyn’s poem as she is unique among the poets published here for being not only a poet but also a nurse. Read Romalyn’s poem or another poem from the site and answer the questions below. To find a poem on the WWWAN site click here.

  1. In what way is this poem about the pandemic?
  2. What does the poem mean to you and your own circumstances during the pandemic?
  3. Choose two more poems from the site: do you recognise anything that connects these poems?
  4. If you were to write a poem responding to the pandemic and your personal circumstances, how would it be different? Is there something of your own experience that is not reflected in their poems?
  5. Does it explain what Carol Ann Duffy called ‘world-grief’?

Below are 4 more poems from the WWWAN site; 

‘Applause’ –

by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Days of the Blackbird’

by Jane Weir 

‘Four Corners’ –

By Catherine Ayers

‘You Sent Me An Article Titled That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief’

By Rebecca Goss