In difficult times we often lean on our creativity to carry us through and help us make sense of things.
It is always a blessing when we come out of those times with something to share with others.
I’m sure the poems and other writing in this book will resonate with many as they have resonated with me.
Well done, Coventry!
Yesterday’s Diary is a fierce, honest collection, crammed with raw feeling and whimsy.
A rich, textured document of lockdown life.
Such a wonderful, inspirational project, enabling many Coventry people to express their feelings and explore a creative world of words.
Congratulations to all the contributors – knowing your work will live on, like Godiva a great legacy to our City.
Pru Poretta MBE (Lady Godiva)
Cathy Cassidy – Coventry born and best-selling children’s author chose the poems and prose in this anthology – and this is what she says about it:
Way back at the start of lockdown, I was asked to head up a writing challenge that would encourage would-be writers and poets in the CV postcode area to share their feelings about the Covid-19 crisis in a creative way. The idea was that a selection of the resulting pieces could be collected in book form, a record of Coventry’s experience of the lockdown.
Sitting Rooms of Culture, a Facebook group and initiative to get Coventry folk in quarantine to dig deep, find their hidden talents and explore their imaginations, were the instigators.
Together we launched the challenge, and in came the stories and poems – just a few at first, and then more and more as the news spread. Hundreds. Gulp. The closing date passed and I began sifting, choosing, editing, collating. It took six or seven weeks longer than the fortnight I had optimistically planned for, but I was blown away by the diversity, the quality, the wit, humour, honesty and emotional impact of what I was reading.
There were entries from accomplished, published poets, from children and teens and mums, dads, grandparents.
There were pieces from frontline NHS workers, from key workers of all kinds, from the furloughed, the quarantined, the shielding, the angry, the frightened, the bored, the lonely.
Some pieces made me laugh, some made me cry, many made me think and some offered blissful escapism or searing realism.
All human life was here, and it was awesome.
Thank you, people of the CV postcode, for baring your souls in this way, and for allowing me to work with you to create this book.
Pieces are scattered throughout the book, deliberately not themed or segregated by age, occupation or status.
This is a book to dip into over and over, with something for everyone. Take a look through, read a story, a poem, and allow yourself to remember the difficult lockdown days of 2020.
Sitting Rooms of Culture
Sitting Rooms of Culture was set up by four Coventry artists as a grassroots response to the Covid crisis, using creativity to support local artists and the wider community, during lockdown – and beyond. The Group showcases the abundance and diversity of creativity in Coventry and Warwickshire – revealing many talents that have been hidden under the carpet until now. You can find the group on Facebook and are very welcome to share your creations there. Sitting Rooms of Culture Founders: Mary Courtney, Kirsty Brewerton, Paul Curtis, Heather Davison