Words with healing power: Great Barrington Pandemic Poetry Project

“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. The latter is needed now more than ever.” –-Town Manager Mark Pruhenski.

Great Barrington – While COVID may still keep us apart, poetry provides our community with the power to come together. To this end, the Town of Great Barrington is pleased to officially announce the launch of the “GB Pandemic Poetry Project.” Created by the town’s research arm, @GBLabs, this initiative seeks to document a unique moment in Great Barrington and global history through verse, submitted by members of the community.

“Words have the power to both destroy and heal,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski.  “The latter is needed now more than ever, and by providing locals with a poetic outlet, we hope to begin the healing process by sharing emotion, thought and reflection”.

“This project came from a conversation I had with Lab Fellow Cathy Zhang and GB resident Patty Melville,” said @GBLabs Director Joe Grochmal. “Fifty years from now we will be able to look back and see what a celebrity tweeted, or what was on the cover of the New York Times, but will future generations be able to understand what was felt here in town at this moment of uncertainty? Poetry is an excellent medium for this, cutting through scripted pieces, exposing our emotions and thoughts in their rawest form. We would like to encourage everyone, from first-time poets to seasoned writers, to contribute.”

The Project can be found on Instagram, at @gbpandemicpoetry. To submit a piece, contributors can click on the Google Forms link in the page bio, where they will be asked to upload a file.  Poems can be submitted in document or picture form and can be done so with anonymity if desired. @GBLabs staff will then review the submission and post on the Pandemic Poetry Page.

Questions pertaining to the “GB Pandemic Poetry Project” should be directed to @GBLabs at atgblabs@gmail.com.