Windsor mayor and poet laureates to release COVID-19 themed poetry book
Poster for release of poetry book 'A Dance of Self-Isolation' featuring poems by Windsor's mayor and poet laureates. (courtesy City of Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor’s mayor and poet laureates have penned a poetry book filled with a collection of pieces reflecting on the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Drew Dilkens, Poet Laureate Mary Ann Mulhern, Poet Laureate Emeritus Marty Gervais and Youth Poet Laureate Samantha Badaoa will release their book ‘A Dance of Self-Isolation: Covid Poems from the Biggest Little City in Canada’ with a virtual book launch.
“Poetry is more than words,” Mulhern said. “It allows people a connection, and we need that now more than ever. This collection is meaningful to me. One of the poems is about little flowers that were growing from rocks along the water last springtime, and I thought – if those little flowers can be so beautiful and thrive in a rock... we can thrive, too. We can be okay.”
The mayor, Mulhern, Gervais and Badaoa will release their collection with a virtual book launch hosted by AM800’s Dan MacDonald Saturday at 7 p.m.
In addition, the following guest panellists will be at the launch to share works from the book and draw links between the poems and how the pandemic has impacted the region:
- Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac, Windsor City Council;
- Jelena Payne, Commissioner of Community Development and Health Services at the City of Windsor;
- Anthony Paniccia, Board Chair, Windsor Regional Hospital;
- Janice Kaffer, President and CEO, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare; and
- Bev Becker, Board Chair, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
The poems featured in ‘A Dance of Self-Isolation’ cover the impact the pandemic has had, as well as the challenges and triumphs of “a community navigating lockdown and recovery in truly unprecedented times.”
The collection has been published through Windsor’s Black Moss Press has been edited by Christopher Lawrence Menard, and features photos by Marty Gervais.
“It has been truly amazing watching young people bounce back. I know that COVID-19 has been a marker of this year, but it hasn’t just been the pandemic – it has been all of the civil unrest and how much youth in general have experienced changes in their lives,” Badaoa said. “Watching young people adapt, grow and create, in the face of so many obstacles, has been inspiring to see. It’s amazing what the youth in the city can do.”
The online launch will be broadcast Saturday at 7 p.m. on YourTV Windsor/Leamington, YouTube, and shared on Facebook pages for Mayor Drew Dilkens, the City of Windsor, Museum Windsor, and Black Moss Press.
The date was selected to mark the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case recorded in Windsor-Essex.