Poetry In The Midst Of A Pandemic

Apr 28, 2020

April is National Poetry Month. Aurora’s poet laureate Karen Fullett-Christensen and the City’s deputy poet laureates talked about the power of poetry and how this pandemic is influencing their writing. The conversation took place Monday on Facebook live.

Aurora poet laureate Karen Fullett-Christensen and deputy poet laureates Fermina Ponce, Anthony Stanford and Quentin Johnson.
Credit https://www.facebook.com/AuroraPoetLaureate/

Fermina Ponce is one of Aurora’s deputy poet laureates. She said she can’t avoid writing about COVID-19.

“I’m not unaware and my creation and my muse is not getting detached or free from what we are living,” Ponce said.

Anthony Stanford, another poet laureate, isn’t writing much poetry these days. He said the pandemic has inspired him to write short stories about how things will look in 10, 15 or 25 years.  

“Because this will be with us. If not this, then something else. This has forced us to change in all manner of things,” he said.

Quentin Johnson is the third deputy poet laureate. He said even though we are inundated with daily updates about COVID-19, he wants to take a different approach when he writes.

“It’s been my mission to write poetry that celebrates people, places and things. To bring good memories back to mind,” Johnson shared.

He wrote a poem called "Health Care Heroes" which highlights the essential workers who are putting their lives on the line.

Karen Fullett-Christensen and the others shared poems that they wrote based on things they’ve observed during COVID-19.

Clayton Muhammad is the City of Aurora’s director of communications. He shared opening and closing remarks.

The Poetry Posse -- as Aurora’s first poet laureate calls them – have not been able to congregate but poems are being posted daily on the Aurora’s Poet Laureate’s Facebook page.

The livestream can be watched by going to the City of Aurora’s Facebook page.