Appel à Article pour la Revue ANGLE

Pandemic Poetry

Like most historical events, the COVID-19 crisis revitalized, on a global scale, the role of the professional and amateur poet, allowing in turn for a more general reappraisal of the role of poetry in a time of crisis. It also saw an exceptional flourishing of novel terminology, coinages and expressions, relating to the pandemic experience, carried by the viral power of social media. As such, the outbreak of poetry in 2020, published under the hashtag #coronapoetry on Twitter and Instagram, as well as the numerous publications of professional poets in dedicated collections and commissioned anthologies, is reminiscent of the extraordinary outpouring of poetry during WWI (whereas the Spanish Flu, conversely, was destined to remain an invisible cultural phenomenon). This surge of topical poetry, self-conscious and historically self-aware, appears eminently emblematic of our “age of witnessing” enamored with the archive and the record. The (almost cacophonic) number of poetry projects spearheaded by local communities, universities, cultural councils, aiming to “Write Where We Are Now” (to quote the University of Manchester’s pandemic project), reveals how poetry is still considered the most apt cultural response to crisis in its immediacy, at least in the Anglophone world. The words of former British poet-laureate Carol Ann Duffy (“We need the voice of poetry in times of change and world-grief”[1]) seem, as such, to encapsulate a wide-spread view on the supposedly regenerative and comforting role of poetry in times of distress and global upheaval. 

This collection, according to ANGLES’ editorial policy, aims to explore this recent cultural phenomenon both from an interdisciplinary perspective:

Proposals relating (but not restricted) to the following topics are welcome:

*The role of poetry in a crisis, the cultural cliché of “poetry as comfort” (see the 29 January 2021 Guardian editorial, “To express the grief and dislocation of our times, only poetry will do”[2])

*Pandemic poetry and social media (instapoems, twitter poetry): circulation and reception, forms and formats, “viral poems”, etc.

*pandemic forms (sonnet, haiku, short or long forms, etc.), modes and genres: “hospital poems”, “sick poems”, “nature poems”, erasure poems, pattern poetry, commemorative poems, memorial poems and the recourse to (traditional?) poetic modes such as the elegy, pastoral, etc.

*“coroneologisms”: neologisms, loan-words, abbreviations, and other linguistic innovations relating to the pandemic and to poetic production (Covid poetry, coronapoetry, pandemic poetry, pandemeter, etc.), pandemic terminology, prevention-guidelines, and their poetic and parodic uses (lockdown, PPE, ventilator, social-distancing, non-essential, new normal, blursday, etc.), hashtags

*stylistic and discursive characteristics of pandemic poems

*ecopoetry and ecopoethics, link between the pandemic and environmental crisis, pandemic poetry and ecology

*Figurative language specific to pandemic poetry, enunciative and discursive strategies in the representation of the pandemic (effacement, hypertrophy, absence of speaker?), the subject in pandemic poems, etc.

*Representing illness, trauma, viruses, science, lockdown (and all forms of constraint, imprisonment), health politics and public policy, biopower, etc.

*Reconfigurations of the global and the local, home/planet, singular/universal, human/non-human experience

*historical and literary references in Covid poems, classic tropes, historical antecedents (Great Plague, etc.)

* Covid anthologies, Covid collections, special issues, etc.

*public poetry and individual responses, mainstream/ avant-garde poetry, professional/amateur poetry (published in special anthologies, “poems from the front line”, “nurses’ poems”, etc.)

*Institutional responses: grants, academic projects, creative writing programs, poetry archives, commissioned anthologies, public poets, political figures using poetry

*translating Covid-19 (literary, technical, scientific/medical, institutional, etc.), translation and crisis, cooperative and machine translation

*Pedagogy: studying poetry remotely during lockdown, integration of pandemic poems in language teaching and learning.

Submission procedure

Please send an abstract and your biography to Sarah Montin by June 20th 2023 at the following email address:

Papers will need to be submitted by December 1st 2023.

The issue is scheduled for publication in autumn 2024.

The language of publication is English. Since Angles welcomes experimental research, different formats are not only accepted, but encouraged: standard written texts, multimedia presentations including music, drama, photography, poetry readings and such… All disciplines and perspectives are welcome. Please see the journal’s philosophical statement for more information:

All textual materials must be submitted through the dedicated submission platform:

For submission of material in non-traditional format (video, audio), please contact the guest editor for guidance.



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