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Throughout history and across all cultures, stories have helped people cope during challenging times. “A 21st Century Plague: Poetry from a Pandemic,” just published by University Professors Press, is a collection of 70 poems by 52 diverse poets who capture the global experience of the pandemic as well as the individual emotions and struggles that are unique and at the same time universal.
Join editor Elayne Clift, and contributing poets Jennie Reichman, Jim Kates, Rai d’Honore for a virtual reading hosted by Putney Public Library on Thursday, October 7th at 7pm.
“It falls to poets and writers to capture the life, and death, experiences of a wide range of humanity, reflecting in words well-chosen, what others feel but cannot express,” says Editor Elayne Clift. “This anthology offers a sanctuary of carefully crafted language that provides comfort and solidarity with others. The works bear witness and give universal meaning to shared experience. In that way these stories in verse create word monuments that quiet and comfort us. They become quietly healing while recording for future generations what it was like during the 21st century pandemic.”
Elayne Clift, a Vermont Humanities Council Scholar, is an award-winning writer and journalist whose work appears in numerous publications internationally. She has published two poetry collections, two memoirs, and three short story collections, the third of which, Children of the Chalet, won First Prize/Fiction, Greyden Pres, 2014. Her book Around the World in 50 Years: Travel Tales of a Not So Innocent Abroad was published in 2019. This is her 4th edited anthology.
Jennie Reichman writes and performs songs and poems that document a life tied to the natural world and intimate human relationships. Her poetry has been published in the literary magazine Saxifrage and in The Best of Write Action Tenth Anniversary Anthology. She lives in Vermont.
Jim Kates is a poet and literary translator. He lives in New Hampshire.
Rai d’Honore holds a PhD in Modern Languages and has taught English, French, and Spanish languages, literature, film, history, and politics at universities in the US and abroad. She composes and sings troubadour-style songs and gives lectures and concerts on the culture of medieval Occitania at universities and other venues in the US and France.