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Shield by Jamie Hale

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remember / tidal volume is estimated based on // what’s left in the lung as it closes / remember love is based on tides / as they come in closer

As the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, Jamie was warned by the doctor that due to their underlying health they would not be a priority for critical care treatment. Using the compressed form of a sonnet, they kept rewriting and re-experiencing different voices and identities to explore what it means to face one’s mortality so directly, suddenly, and unexpectedly.

This work became a pamphlet, Shield, following Jamie through the grief of facing death while newly married, and into a place of resilience, resistance, and a commitment to creation against mortality.

i’d rather die  / as i’ve lived as i’ve lived filled with love and / i’d rather die fierce as myself

‘These are arresting, heart-stopping poems lit with a rare intensity. Hale’s poems don’t pull any punches, they explore what it is to live in a body and on the way touch the centre of the fragility deep inside all of us. Humane poems that will make you ache.’  Mona Arshi

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