Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America's Poets Respond to the Pandemic

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In this urgent outpouring of American voices, our poets speak to us from the earliest days of the lockdown, addressing our collective fear, grief, and hope from eloquent and diverse individual perspectives as the pandemic continues to shape our lives

**Featuring 107 poets, from A to ZJulia Alvarez to Matthew Zapruder—with work in between by Jericho Brown, Billy Collins, Fanny Howe, Ada Limón, Sharon Olds, Tommy Orange, Claudia Rankine, Vijay Seshadri, and Jeffrey Yang**

As the novel coronavirus and its devastating effects began to spread in the United States and around the world, Alice Quinn reached out to poets across the country to see if, and what, they were writing under the initial quarantine. Moved and galvanized by the response, the onetime New Yorker poetry editor and recent former director of the Poetry Society of America began collecting the poems arriving in her inbox, assembling this various, intimate, and intricate portrait of our suddenly altered reality.

In these pages, we find poets grieving for relatives they are separated from or recovering from illness themselves, attending to suddenly complicated household tasks or turning to literature for strength, considering the bravery of medical workers or working their own shifts at the hospital, and, as the Black Lives Matter movement swept the globe, reflecting on the inequities in our society that amplify sorrow and demand our engagement.

From fierce and resilient to wistful, darkly humorous, and emblematically reverent about the earth and the vulnerability of human beings in frightening times, the poems in this collection find the words to describe unspeakably difficult and strange changes in our lives, providing wisdom, companionship, and depths of feeling that engage our spirits.