by Nicholas McGaughey

This is a poem about being with someone as they die. The loved ones hold her hands as she drifts away, we "untether our palms and let her go"
Growing up in Nigeria, I had to listen to the horrors/trauma that victims of domestic violence (especially women) had to live through. And in some unexplainable way, those horrific experiences have become a part of my own childhood memory. The poem is a ...

Growing up in Nigeria, I had to listen to the horrors/trauma that victims of domestic violence (especially women) had to live through. And in some unexplainable way, those horrific experiences have become a part of my own childhood memory. The poem is a persona narrative that I move through to beckon the history of violence against women in the Nigerian polity.

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I've been taking amateur photographs during my daily exercise walks round the very central London streets where I live. I began with images of the strangely empty streets but, as time has gone on, have become more and more focused on details - letter ...

I've been taking amateur photographs during my daily exercise walks round the very central London streets where I live. I began with images of the strangely empty streets but, as time has gone on, have become more and more focused on details - letter boxes have become an obsession. I've shared the photos on social media where they seem to have offered some odd reassurance to people - maybe to do with continuity or enduring craft.

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This poem is about being digitally native, growing up as a teenager at the birth of the internet and the impact of this on communication, relationships and sexuality. The poem was recorded by Muddy Feet Poetry @muddyfeetpoetry.

by Genevieve Carver

I'm somebody who worries a lot about little things and about big things that I'll never be able to change. I think the more 'connected' we become by technology and the more information becomes available to us, the more overwhelming it can be. Sometimes I ...

I'm somebody who worries a lot about little things and about big things that I'll never be able to change. I think the more 'connected' we become by technology and the more information becomes available to us, the more overwhelming it can be. Sometimes I feel like the little worry dolls in the poem, unable to bear the weight of all the worries in the world.

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My poem is inspired by my mother, her strength and wisdom. She is not here to witness the pandemic but her voice tells me to keep faith and believe that science and its wonders will break through to an answer, not unlike the miracle that is the distilling ...

My poem is inspired by my mother, her strength and wisdom. She is not here to witness the pandemic but her voice tells me to keep faith and believe that science and its wonders will break through to an answer, not unlike the miracle that is the distilling of whisky, the water of life.

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This is the third, most positive poem in a series of lockdown poems I have been writing to investigate the emotions that this moment in time has brought. I am lucky to live on an isolated moor where I can walk freely and watch the natural world get on ...

This is the third, most positive poem in a series of lockdown poems I have been writing to investigate the emotions that this moment in time has brought. I am lucky to live on an isolated moor where I can walk freely and watch the natural world get on with living and this has been my inspiration. I was also inspired by Seneca's letters to Lucilius, particularly 'On the futility of planning ahead'.

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by Ankh Spice

I'm lucky to be married to a wonderful writer and human being who happens to be a trans woman. I wrote 'New Cloth' as an unrepentant love poem, in answer to the bigotry and anti-trans sentiment that persists. The distress this causes trans people is ...

I'm lucky to be married to a wonderful writer and human being who happens to be a trans woman. I wrote 'New Cloth' as an unrepentant love poem, in answer to the bigotry and anti-trans sentiment that persists. The distress this causes trans people is immense. I wanted to write a poem that gave people who had perhaps given up on love a clear message that it does exist, and no human being deserves to feel unmade.

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The words "Notice Breath" stayed with me after taking a virtual yoga class, breath being on my and most everyone's mind these days. Thoughts about mortality and observations during quarantine all came together when I sat down to write that afternoon and ...

The words "Notice Breath" stayed with me after taking a virtual yoga class, breath being on my and most everyone's mind these days. Thoughts about mortality and observations during quarantine all came together when I sat down to write that afternoon and the result was this poem. The poem was first published in the Poetry Journal One Art.

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by Joseph Fasano

"Odysseus" is inspired by the great, ancient story of its title character, who tries for many years to return home. The poem is a reflection on the long and often challenging path we take to become what we must, to become our truest selves.

by Tracey Rhys

A satirical poem in response to our appreciation of the natural world whilst in lockdown, when our lives slowed to match the pace of seasons, the passing of life and time. I wanted to write about the fickle swing, as we moved away from being consumers to ...

A satirical poem in response to our appreciation of the natural world whilst in lockdown, when our lives slowed to match the pace of seasons, the passing of life and time. I wanted to write about the fickle swing, as we moved away from being consumers to becoming natural observers, and now for the autumn as we 'resume our lives' again. What might we learn from this experience, if only we keep looking?

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by Rachel Burns

At 18 and pregnant I was made homeless and lived in a council flat in Willington. It was a tough existence, a tale of survival because ultimately you had too. It's also about enforced domesticity and how ordinary objects can become suddenly weighted. And ...

At 18 and pregnant I was made homeless and lived in a council flat in Willington. It was a tough existence, a tale of survival because ultimately you had too. It's also about enforced domesticity and how ordinary objects can become suddenly weighted. And how you can lose your identity as an individual through circumstance.

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As the whole world comes to a standstill during the pandemic, I write this poem to articulate my reflection on the relationships between modern technology and cultural tradition, between life and art in terms of what we can 'see' with our naked and inner eyes.
I was intrigued and delighted to read about this club based in Rotarua, New Zealand. The elderly learn carpentry skills as community support and to save on funeral expenses, make their own coffins. Their motto is 'It's a box until there's someone in it'.

by Nairn Kennedy

This idea came from visiting a certain well-known coffee chain which asks for your first name to identify which coffee is yours, and turned into an exploration of the alienation felt by an immigrant. Sometimes a poem takes over from the writer and ...

This idea came from visiting a certain well-known coffee chain which asks for your first name to identify which coffee is yours, and turned into an exploration of the alienation felt by an immigrant. Sometimes a poem takes over from the writer and develops its own theme, which is one reason why we write.

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This poem was inspired by the death of George Floyd, and all the Black Lives Matter deaths protests and video footage – which were so prevalent during 2020 lockdown months. Through oddly juxtaposing the irrational fear of black people (racism) and spiders ...

This poem was inspired by the death of George Floyd, and all the Black Lives Matter deaths protests and video footage – which were so prevalent during 2020 lockdown months. Through oddly juxtaposing the irrational fear of black people (racism) and spiders (arachnophobia), it explores alternative behaviours available to potential perpetrators – and the perspective of persons living with the knowledge that their lives might not be valued.

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by Tiffany Anne Tondut

I began writing this poem when my husband was working through a series of storms - my heart went out to him. I was due to give birth at the end of that month, and we both feared the increasing threat of COVID. As lockdown began, and continued, this poem ...

I began writing this poem when my husband was working through a series of storms - my heart went out to him. I was due to give birth at the end of that month, and we both feared the increasing threat of COVID. As lockdown began, and continued, this poem developed in response to his concerns, the challenges we faced and the humour during that strange time. I remain seriously proud of this man.

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by Laura Potts

This poem follows the format set by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin in her poem 'Swineherd'. A herdsman imagines a time in the post-pandemic future when he can enjoy the simple fact of being alive. He makes a series of simple vows - listen to cream rising in a ...

This poem follows the format set by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin in her poem 'Swineherd'. A herdsman imagines a time in the post-pandemic future when he can enjoy the simple fact of being alive. He makes a series of simple vows - listen to cream rising in a milk jug and count the trees in an orchard - to better appreciate his existence. I took my lockdown companion, my cat, and wrote a similar verse from her perspective.

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by Celia A Sorhaindo

In 2017 our island suffered a devastating category 5 hurricane and we are told climate change is likely to bring more extreme weather, more regularly. Now with the COVID19 pandemic, life seems even more unstable and unpredictable; depressed "weather ...

In 2017 our island suffered a devastating category 5 hurricane and we are told climate change is likely to bring more extreme weather, more regularly. Now with the COVID19 pandemic, life seems even more unstable and unpredictable; depressed "weather conditions" for humanity.

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Leicester became the first city put into a local lockdown on 30 June 2020. I began the poem in July as volunteers went door-to-door delivering Covid home test kits. It's about a feeling of a return to an older city, Elizabethan, banished from the realm by ...

Leicester became the first city put into a local lockdown on 30 June 2020. I began the poem in July as volunteers went door-to-door delivering Covid home test kits. It's about a feeling of a return to an older city, Elizabethan, banished from the realm by decree. One contribution to the high infection rate was thought to be clothing sweatshops forcing their vulnerable workers to continue in cramped conditions with no protection against the virus.

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This Year's Judges

A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

Watch the full Wordview 2020 playlist
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