We’re very happy to announce our second tranche of Lockdown Lit, and what an outpouring of creativity it’s been!
Life in the pandemic has given us such scope for fiction. Jo Somerset gives us an evocative account of a summer spent swimming in Scotland in Swimming Away from the Virus, Lynda Brennan reflects on the central role many ‘inessential’ institutions play in our lives in Blue and White, and Sarah Beck Mather supplies a moving and inspiring account of female experience in Strong Woman. Miyuki Tatsuma, meanwhile, has a beautifully evocative take on the experiences of lockdown in her poems Metamorphosis and Princess of the Tower.
As the Covid-19 death toll rises, mortality is increasingly part of the pandemic experience for all of us. Susie Helme’s main character deals with the death of an ex in The Memorial, while Simon Tin takes us from proposal to funeral in four haikus in Four Haikus and a Funeral.
In grim times, though, humour is all the more important. Meet the strawberry-blond, immensely self-satisfied and strangely familiar cat called Boris, in Caroline Dix’s Fur Baby. Meanwhile, Robin Knight hides existential despair beneath comedy in Performance of a Street Mime Artist During Lockdown (highlight the text for the full effect).
Other writers have taken the pandemic as the starting point to range further afield; into fairy tales, in James Holden’s The Oven Locked Down – how would you fancy lockdown in the gingerbread house? – or to 2050 in Susan Bradley Smith’s dystopian plague prose poem, One Night in Sarsaparilla, part of a planned song cycle. Finally, Elaine Graham-Leigh reflects on a different sort of lockdown, and the lessons learned, or not, in Sieved Water.
We hope you enjoy all these fantastic pieces. If you’re inspired to submit your own piece of Lockdown Lit, please do! We’re still open for submissions.