Wait: Poems from the Pandemic is an anthology of poetry and art by sixty-five Maine poets and visual artists created in response to the pandemic of 2020-21. Collected by editor Jeri Theriault, the art and poetry work together to reveal the feelings, frustrations, desires, and suffering all of us experienced during this time. Passionate and contemplative, angry and hopeful, sorrowful and humorous, intelligent and articulate, these poets and artists show us, as poet laureate Baron Wormser writes, “a transfiguring vision – what the pandemic felt like from the inside.” An “essential work,” an “invaluable book,” Wait “brings us face-to-face with what it is to be human.”
Poets and artists included in Wait: Kifah Abdulla, Samaa Abdurraqib, Linda Aldrich, Carol Willette Bachofner, Gretchen Berg, Katherine Hagopian Berry, Adrian Blevins, Laura Bonazzoli, Mike Bove, Marcia F. Brown, Wendy Cannella, Philip Carlsen, Robert Carr, Deborah Cummins, Jenny Doughty, Kara Douglas, Lala Drew, Kathleen Ellis, Sharif S. Elmusa, Richard Foerster, Jay Franzel, Ellen Goldsmith, Jason Grundstrom-Whitney, Myronn Hardy, Jeffrey Haste, Claire Hersom, Leonore Hildebrandt, Claudia Hughes, Annaliese Jakimides, Judy Kaber, Stan Keach, Stuart Kestenbaum, Steve Luttrell, Wesley McNair, Michelle Menting, Martha Miller, Claire Millikin, Leslie Moore, David Moreau, Jefferson Navicky, Marita O’Neill, Lucia Owen, Mihku Paul, Alice Persons, Dawn Potter, Doug Rawlings, Amy Ray, Rhea Côté Robbins, Celeste Roberge, Lee Sharkey, Betsy Sholl, Craig Sipe, Pam Burr Smith, Martin Steingesser, Meghan Sterling, Barbara Sullivan, Kevin Sweeney, Ellen M. Taylor, Jeri Theriault, Jeffrey Thomson, Elizabeth Tibbetts, Meghan Vigeant, Susan B. Webster, Douglas “Woody” Woodsum, Anna Wrobel.
“This anthology contains essential work—poems that speak to, speak for, speak through, speak of the coronavirus pandemic, each poet affirming the stark grace of individual perspective and poetry’s genius for grappling with emotions that would seem to undo language. What lives in these poems is not so much testimony as transfiguring vision—what the pandemic felt like from the inside. Wait is an invaluable book that brings us, as the pandemic has brought us in its mix of grief, vulnerability and isolation, face-to-face with what it is to be human. —Baron Wormser, Poet Laureate of Maine, 2000-2005
“The congregation of disparate voices in Wait: Poems from the Pandemic gather into nothing short of a choir somehow able to take the potential cacophony of grief and anxiety and pain, and turn it into a sweet song of sympathy and hope. In the opening poem, Lee Sharkey asks ‘What is the purpose of suffering?’ In the pages that follow, we grapple with that unanswerable question but find this book’s togetherness offers a balm.” —Joshua Bodwell, Editorial Director, Godine/Black Sparrow Press