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Poet’s joy as 100 writers from across world contribute to community piece about lockdown

Finlay Hall from New Pitsligo started a poetry project to connect people from around the world.
Finlay Hall from New Pitsligo started a poetry project to connect people from around the world.

A north-east poet has achieved his goal of getting 100 people to contribute a verse to a community piece about life in lockdown.

People of all ages from around the world have helped to complete the “joined up writing” project started by Finley Hall from New Pitsligo.

The poet launched the project in May as a way to “connect people from around the world” when even close friends and family members were forced to remain apart under strict lockdown rules.

Mr Hall last night celebrated achieving his aim of collating 100 different voices for the piece.

He said: “All sorts of people from musicians to writers have taken part, I’m chuffed with how well it’s worked out. I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken part.

“Some of those who took part were writers and others had never done anything like this before, it could be as serious or as silly as they wanted it to be.

There’s people I’ve never met before who contributed, which is what I was hoping for.”

The initiative started with Mr Hall writing a verse and the next writer would start their verse using one word from the last line.

Mr Hall is now trying to get the poem published so that it can live on for future generations to learn about how life has been lived in lockdown.

He said: “I’ve been in contact with publishers and I’d like to do a full reading of it live online.”

People from Canada, Australia and Estonia have put their creative skills to use by adding to the ode from afar.

The final contributor to the project was Mr Hall’s 12-year-old grandchild Adrian Rae.

Mr Hall added: “He’s a very creative person, I’d given him advice on how he could do it but he did his own thing with it and it turned out better that way.”

Starting the poem, Mr Hall wrote:

“It’s times like these, if you please
That you know who your friends are, they don’t have to call
All, they need to do, Is be aware
That you are there. And they are there too.”
I don’t need more
Except perhaps some Rowies delivered to my door.

For the 100th verse, Adrian wrote: “Love is a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed.
It hits hard. But then it slowly fades.”

If he can successfully secure a publisher, Mr Hall hopes to give the royalties to a north-east charity.

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