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KEEP CALM AND READ POEMS

Posted on March 24 2020

From Kathleen Jamie's Selected Poems, PBS recommendation.
Dear poetry friends and PBS members, 

We hope you're all keeping safe and well in these unsettling times. Our thoughts are with our extended poetry family across the globe, and we sincerely hope that the power of poetry can help us all stay together apart. This last week has been hard but the strength of our poetry community has genuinely kept us going. Each day I've been posting a poem on social media to help us #keepcalmandreadpoems and the response from around the world has been overwhelmingly supportive and uplifting - so thanks to everyone who has contributed. Poetry is a bridge between people and we need it now more than ever.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the PBS is still fully operational. We have set up procedures to allow staff members to work from home, and have been in contact with our distributors and publishers to continue to provide you with books and memberships during this time. I’m sure many of you will agree with us that poetry, as with all culture, is a vital resource to help us through the coming trials.

Based on current information, we are still able to fulfil book and membership orders although in some cases there may be a slight delay to delivery. International orders may take longer than normal to arrive depending on the condition of local delivery services. We will endeavour to keep our website and social media updated with any significant changes to our service. The majority of our orders are delivered by Royal Mail, who have provided clear information about the measures they are taking, and reassured customers that there are no risks associated with receiving post. 

We are suspending all planned poetry events and have postponed our PBS Spring Showcase at the Scottish Poetry Library to protect our poets and audience members. We are sad to announce that the NCLA & PBS Northern Poetry Symposium at Newcastle Poetry Festival is also postponed but we will let you know about the amended timings of future events going forwards.

As I’m sure you will expect, the poetry industry is likely to be significantly affected by the pandemic. Many of our friends and colleagues have cancelled readings and book launches in the interests of public safety. You are already supporting poetry profoundly by being a member of the PBS, and have our thanks. If you are in a position to do so, purchasing a membership or poetry books from our website during this time will be greatly appreciated and some positive poetry stockpiling will help the wide range of poets and publishers we support. If you are in self isolation or practising social distancing, we can deliver so many wonderful poetry books straight to your doorstep via poetrybooks.co.uk.

We will continue to regularly share and recommend poetry on our website blogs and in the PBS Friday Eletter and work has already begun on the Summer Bulletin. For those on social media, we'll keep sharing a poem every day on facebook, instagram and twitter @poetrybooksoc. Please do join the discussions, share your poems and what you’ve been reading using the hashtag #keepcalmandreadpoems. It means a lot to those of us who have already entered this strange state of semi isolation, so please do keep us company online.

In the coming weeks we will be also be exploring creative new ways to keep our poetry community connected whether that's online book club discussions or virtual poetry readings to help lift our spirits. Thanks once again for all your support and we hope we can continue to bring you some sort of normality, solace and joy through poetry.

With very best wishes to you, your families and friends, 

Alice, Nathaniel, Sophie and all the PBS team

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