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In the spring days following the upheaval to our lives by COVID-19, new lifestyles and urgent needs were created that we all were unprepared for. Food for the vulnerable in our community was among them. It was a need that could be supported by urging others to donate to the Sandwich Food Pantry. But perhaps a creative spin could be added. The Sandwich Arts Alliance Literary Arts group's scheduled event for Poetry Month had been  cancelled; maybe its members could offer to write a poem in exchange for a cash donation to the food pantry? A "poem-athon?"...Why not!

Writers stepped forward.  A few had published poetry and were considered poets, but most of us were simply poetry writers, published and unpublished. Some of us had never written a poem. JJ Cunis said the last poem he wrote was in high school.

So, here's evidence of what can happen when you ask a fairly random group of writers to offer words to commemorate a graduation or a teenager's birthday, the death of a friend, the loss of a loved one to Alzheimer's, the joy of knowing a child, a second marriage.

This book is what that poetry looks like.

Glorious poems were written by strangers for strangers, some of whom responded saying, "This is so beautiful," "This is the best birthday present I ever gave my sister," "It was amazing, my grandchild LOVED her poem!"

Everyone, the writers with greatly varied backgrounds and the donors with greatly varied poem requests, all were touched by the process of creating poetry. Hooray for Poetry Month!  In the end, thanks to our generous donors, a handful of poems written by a handful of writers raised $750 for the Sandwich Food Pantry and our neighbors in need. 

The power of a poem, indeed. 

 Christie Lowrance

Literary Arts coordinator


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