A POET has had his lockdown poetry included in a major new collection of prose inspired by life during the coronavirus pandemic.
Publisher William Collins has put together a poetry book, Poems for a Pandemic, bringing together 100 poets — aged from nine to 92.
Paul Jenkins is a 42-year-old poet, from Haslingden, whose entry, entitled 100, is featured in the book.
The collection brings together the voices of writers who picked up a pen during the lockdown and wrote about their experiences.
Mr Jenkins’ poem was written in response to the inspiring journey of Colonel Tom Moore, who raised more than £30 million for NHS Charities Together during the lockdown.
Mr Jenkins said: “Seeing the way that the nation was moved by this simple action of one man walking around his garden was amazing.
“I watched like everyone else as he took those final steps on his 100th lap and was immediately drawn to pick up a pen.
“It’s such an honour to be included in this collection which is a real snapshot of this piece of history we’ve all lived through.”
The book’s editor Angela Marston, a former care worker, contracted the virus early in the year and, after writing a piece herself, began to approach other writers so their work could be included in the project.
She said: “This is history in the making and these poems record for all eternity the thoughts and feelings of ordinary people at an extraordinary time.”
The collection costs £4.99 and is available online.
Profits from sales of the book will go to NHS Charities Together
It includes work by people from all walks of life, but particularly key workers who give first-hand accounts of what they have experienced during the crisis.
Doctors, nurses, care workers and more have all come together to produce the unique collection.
It also contains work by established writers such as Hollie McNish and Darren Smith, whose viral poem You Clap For Me Now became a powerful piece at the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Jenkins has also been running creative online sessions for children during the lockdown period.
The fun sessions sees the poet read out both his own and the children’s poems sent to him, while sitting in his living room.
The ebook — Poems for a Pandemic: Voices from the front line of a global epidemic — is available to purchase on Amazon, as well as via major publishing sites such as Harper Collins.