Coronavirus poems start today

Last week, we made a call for entries from poets who are sequestered at home, writing about coronavirus. We have received so many amazing responses. In them, so many moving stories, reflections, and thoughts about our current weird, and somewhat unbelievable world.

Today, we begin publishing those poems, one a week for the foreseeable future. A bit later today we're getting started with a 9-line poem by Whitney McBride that stopped us short on first read.

If you have submitted work, we have not responded yet to everyone, but will be doing that over the coming week. If you would still like to send us a poem, we are still accepting submissions.

Also last week, we ran a letter from a reader in our advice column, The Help Desk, where he asked if poetry was a scam. After Cienna cut him down (it was a stupid question) it made us think about why poetry matters.

Maybe it doesn't, to you (although, if it doesn't, I doubt you read this far), and that's fine. But for those of us to whom poetry is like a secret language, a fingerhold on a rip in reality that uses deceptively simple words to change the way we think, poetry is powerful. Being offered another perspective is a good thing, right now. Being offered a peek behind our own certain constructs feels necessary.

Normally we run our poems Tuesday at 10am, but we're running McBride's poem today in a high-profile spot normally reserved for reviews: 12pm on a Tuesday. We hope you'll join us each week for the series.

Coronavirus poems:
  1. "distance in the ground", by Whitney McBride
  2. "upaya", by Shin Yu Pai
  3. "Virus", by Carol Alexander
  4. "In the Fourth Week of the New Era", by Susan Rich
  5. "The Year of the Plague: A Letter", by Ed Harkness
  6. "Quarantine Ceremony", by Sasha LaPointe
  7. "Always Another House", by Alex Gallo-Brown
  8. "This Is the Darkest Timeline", by Jeannine Hall Gailey
  9. "Job Opportunity in the Virus Age", by John Davis
  10. "Rule breakers", by Miriam Bassuk
  11. "My quarantine project", by Martha Silano
  12. "Social Distances", by Greg Rappleye
  13. "Before sheltered in place", by Julene Tripp Weaver
  14. "After Reading an Article Called What the Coronavirus Does to Your Body", by Kelli Russell Agodon and Melisa Studdard