So here we are, in a second lockdown - which means that we in Poetry on Loan have just had to come up with more ideas to help keep poetry going in the West Midlands.
One thing we have done a lot when libraries have been open is Poetry on Demand - you talk to a poet for 10-20 minutes, and in the next 20 minutes, he or she has written a poem, tailored and personalised, just for you. It doesn't have to be for you, of course; it can be for your husband, wife, partner, dad, mum, children, granny, dog or even budgie (yes, we've done those!)
These events have always been popular, so we've been making them available online. Solihull was the first authority to try it, with some success, followed by Coventry and Staffordshire, and more recently Shropshire. We had to stop applications for poems in Shropshire because the service proved to be too popular! Soon Worcestershire and Sandwell will be joining in, and Coventry are planning to have another go.
The feedback has been amazing:
Just WOW!! Absolutely fabulous! Please let Spoz know I am so happy with it 10/10 – brought a tear to my eye but shhhhhh don’t tell anyone ;) Can’t wait to read it out to him tomorrow. Will get it framed for him too.
Oh my goodness...it’s absolutely perfect, a 10/10 for sure. It’s beautiful, heartfelt and funny all at the same time, he is going to love it.
This is fantastic!! I love it so much. I haven't shown it to X yet - but will let you know what he thinks when he's finished work. I would definitely give it 10/10 - it's so perfect with it being personalised like that. It's definitely a present money can't buy!
And of course, we've announced the poetry competition winners, and run some online workshops...
Time to start planning for 2021!