AN Edge Hill University tutor and her partner have collected 100 powerful stories and poems from people all over the world about lockdown and put them into a new book.
Their work is called 100 Words of Solitude: Global Voices in Lockdown 2020, which is being sold to raise money for UNICEF and other humanitarian charities.
Dr Philippa Holloway, associate tutor in Creative Writing at Edge Hill, was inspired by the sacrifices of NHS staff and charity workers on the front lines during the pandemic and wanted to do something to help people.
She put out a call for people to write literary responses to the isolation caused by the pandemic, with the aim of publishing the 100 most impactful pieces. It didn’t take long for the callout to go viral on social media, attracting nearly 600 stories and poems from all over the world.
Philippa said: “This project started in March as the UK lockdown got underway, my husband and I were thinking about how we could help the community. We’re not doctors or nurses, so how could we help?
“We’d both previously taught creative writing for MIND and know writing can help people with their mental health, help people feel less alone and to express themselves.
“For me a great example of how the project gave people a voice is a piece by an 11-year-old Pakistani boy. He wrote a really moving, revealing story and thanks to this project his story is now published alongside world renowned writers and poets.
“We had nearly 600 submissions. It was an honour to read and feel what all these people from all over the world were feeling. I lost my own grandma to Covid-19 so a lot of the stories really hit home.”