This Sunday I will be one of the poets taking part in a sponsored poem-a-thon organised by Poets for Ukraine, a swiftly-assembled group of poets who have come together to raise funds to help refugees from the war in Ukraine.
The reading is a partnership between Poets for Ukraine and the UK Society of Authors, The Poetry Society and The Poetry School, as well as JW3, the Jewish Community Centre in London.
There will be readings online and in-person at JW3 throughout the day (UK time) this Sunday 27th March.
Headline poets include Naomi Shihab Nye, Jackie Kay, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy and Andrew Motion, with special guests including Juliet Stevenson, Jessie Ware, Meera Syal, Sophie Ward and Nick Hytner.
Ukrainian poets will be appearing on video both from the frontline and the diaspora.
I’ll be reading a couple of poems online, and I’ve been given a provisional reading slot of 11.58am UK time. This may change on the day, so if you don’t want to miss me, come a little early and check the schedule on the day!
I am raising funds for Hope and Aid Direct, a UK charity founded in 1999. Their Ukraine Appeal is ‘to provide essential aid to displaced people and people fleeing to seek safety’.
If you would like to help me raise funds for the appeal, you can:
1. Visit this page and click the yellow ‘Donate Now’ button: https://gofund.me/831ddbc8
2. Once you have entered your payment details, scroll down to the ‘Donation details’ section and choose my name from the ‘Select team member’ menu.
If you would to attend the reading, you can get a free ticket on this page: https://www.jw3.org.uk/poets-ukraine
N.b. I realise you may well have limited funds and/or you may have already donated to a Ukraine charity, so please note the reading itself is free and you are welcome to attend it whether or not you make a donation to our fundraiser.
I’m really looking forward to reading on Sunday and hearing the other poets.
It’s a small thing to do relative to the scale of the problem, but the small things are still worth doing. And I’m sure the poems will be a welcome reminder of the creative spirit, in the shadow of so much destruction.