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Viral Verses: Art in Exceptional Times

By Edited by Nicholas Linstead and Stephen Linstead

This is a remarkable creative collaboration - a stunning book of 120 poems, 80 of them illustrated, responding to the Covid crisis, with 58 poets and 36 artists ranging in age from 16 to 98 contributing. 100% of profits go to NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal. 

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York was where the first cases of the Covid-19 virus in the UK were discovered, and this book is the response of poets and artists from the University, the City the County and beyond to the challenges the ensuing pandemic brought. Edited by Stephen Linstead, a Professor at the University, and his son Nick, designed by Bryan Ledgard, it features well known professionals,  broadcasters and performers like Ian McMillan, Mike Harding and Ralph McTell, and exhibited artists like Julie Gough, Anne Genner Crawford  and Jeannie Clarke, through to first-time published poets and illustrators. With a Foreword by Milly Johnson and Introduction by Dame Margaret Drabble, this uniquely moving, wide ranging and accessible  collaboration has something for everybody. 

"The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the strong weft and warp, as well as the rips, in our social fabric. Art gives rich pattern to that fabric and weaves us together – it has a power we need, and that we need to share widely. Find your favourites in this rich collection and take solace or take action or both..." Kate Pickett, Professor of Epidemiology and co-author of the best-seller The Spirit Level.

"This is a powerful and poignant collection which has been spawned from this singular time. Beautiful words and illustrations from the perspectives of young and old minds, talents refined and raw, have been woven together into a stunning piece of art... A truly magnificent coming together of creatives, not to be missed... "

Milly Johnson, Sunday Times best-selling author, poet, scriptwriter, and columnist. 

"We turn to poetry in times of need. Poetry is with us at birth, at death, in sorrow and in celebration. We read it, we remember it, we recite it, and we write it. This volume is witness to the extraordinary power of poetry and the intensity of the times through which we have been living.. Reading through these very varied poems is a remarkable experience."

Dame Margaret Drabble, novelist, critic and biographer

"Viral Verses is a warm and approachable collection that showcases poets both famous and obscure in a variety of meditations on our current malaise; funny, tender, scary, hopeful. It is rich with humanity and teems with life and is, of course, for the very best of causes."

Stuart Maconie, author and radio presenter


Further information: Viral Verses website

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