Infectious Hope – Poems of Hope Resilience from the Pandemic: Edited by Silvia Cantón Rondoni
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Big thanks to Silvia Cantón Rondoni for sending this over for review. I recently read her excellent poetry collection ‘Stark Naked,’ and when she asked if I’d be keen to review this anthology that she put together, I was all over it.
The poems within are written by a stunning group of well-celebrated and well-loved dark fiction and poetry writers. There really is something for everywhere and even though the poems cover a wide array of experiences through the arrival of Covid-19, each and everyone still felt relatable and like a shared experience.
What I liked: The collection opens up with an excellent foreword from Lee Murray.
While each poem revolves around an aspect of the pandemic, I found it very interesting to see just what each author would key in on.
Standouts for me included;
Preface To Infectious Hope by Silvia Cantón Rondoni, whose poem introduces the anthology while also sharing what a unique and surreal time the pandemic has been.
Linda D. Addison’s HERE/NOW. I loved the examination of how nothing remains the same and even window glass can create change.
Eugen Bacon’s WHAT THE MASK SAW, which was a startling look at life through the viewpoint of our masks.
Anne Casey’s WHERE GULLS CRY was a sorrowful look at being stuck away from home when restrictions came into place.
PS Cottier’s PATTERNS comes off almost post-apocalyptic with a look into the future to see if mankind has learned anything.
Owl Goingback’s QUIET STARS was a heartbreaking poem about Owl’s mother and her passing away from Covid as well as the privilege others have lorded.
Dominic Hoey’s THEY ONLY BECOME DREAMS WHEN YOU WAKE was a dystopian-esque poem of how each day in lockdown becomes the same and everything blends together
Alessandro Manzetti’s WHEN SHE LEFT was a poem about struggling to keep hope as the events grew worse and worse.
Christina Sng’s OUR BRIEF TIME IN THE SUN was a beautiful poem describing how we should soak up the sun as time is fleeting.
And Tabatha Wood’s OF TIME AND TIDE was a poem dealing with an individual’s metamorphosis during the pandemic.
Each piece was moving and an interesting examination of the Covid pandemic around the world.
What I didn’t like: I’m not a poetry scholar, so some of the poems were difficult for me to comprehend or fully understand the deeper meaning or metaphor meant. As well, each poem is prefaced with the author’s bio and inspiration for the poem. I think I would’ve preferred that come after the poem so as to not influence the reader’s experience.
Why you should buy this: If you’re looking for a solid anthology of pandemic based poetry, poetry focused on hope and the light at the end of a dark, long tunnel, then this is perfect for you. The talent here is simply amazing and the poems inside match that.
Infectious Hope is a call out for positivism and resilience during lockdown and isolation.
Editor and poet Silvia Cantón Rondoni has curated a poetry anthology that includes a spectacular range of diverse poets from around the globe, and focuses on their insights and strength during the pandemic.
A poetic vaccination of the soul, and a reminder that we are in this together and are stronger than we know.
This anthology contains the creativity of 47 poets, including luminaries Fiona Wright, Joe R. Landsdale, Isobelle Carmody, Roz Kaveney, and Linda D. Addison, as well as an introduction by Lee Murray.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
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