A poetry collection focused on the experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic was recently published by University Professors Press.

“A 21st Century Plague: Poetry from a Pandemic” is a collection of 70 poems by 52 diverse poets, including a number from New Hampshire and Vermont, 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, according to anthology editor and Westminster, Vt., resident Elayne Clift.

Contributors to the anthology include renowned poet and author Marge Piercy and blogger Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan friar living in Ireland, to a prison inmate, a nurse, artists and educators. The poetry anthology “speaks to a time in which people have had to find their strengths and forgive their foibles,” according to a press release about the book.

“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,” Clift said in a statement. “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.”

For more information or to schedule a reading, contact Clift at eclift@vermontel.net. The book can be ordered at https://universityprofessorspress.com/.

— Sentinel staff