Windsor's poets laureate write pandemic-inspired prose

As much as this COVID-19 pandemic has caused months of anxiety, inconvenience, financial hardship and even death, some have been inspired by it.

City's poet laureate emeritus and current laureate make the most of an introspective time

Marty Gervais, left is the City of Windsor's poet laureate emeritus and Mary Ann Mulhern, right, is the city's current poet laureate. The two have been inspired in their writing by what's going on during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tony Doucette/CBC)

As much as this COVID-19 pandemic has caused months of anxiety, inconvenience, financial hardship and even death, some have been inspired by it.

Windsor's poet laureate Mary Anne Mulhern and Marty Gervais, the poet laureate emeritus, say they've used this time to notice more about the world around them.

The poets sat down with Windsor Morning radio host Tony Doucette to talk about the changed pace of life we're seeing. 

"There's more time than there was before, and secondly at least for myself, I think I pay more attention to things, especially things in nature that I might not have even observed before," said Mulhern. 

She's composed several poems over the last few months, drawing inspiration from things she sees around her. 

"One of the things that have inspired me the most is the plight of migrant workers in Kingsville and Leamington," she said. 

Mulhern said her friend helps workers get bicycles and has hosted some fiestas. 

"It breaks your heart because they are hard working people," she said, adding it motivated her to capture their experience. 

WATCH | The city's poets laureate share their works inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic:

As much as this COVID-19 pandemic has caused months of anxiety for some, others have been inspired by it. Two of Windsor's most accomplished poets, Mary Ann Mulhern and Marty Gervais, have been busy writing pandemic poetry. 1:54

"I think we might be learning to be more mindful of one another and really what it's done has made us pause," said Gervais. 

"Basically you slow down and you begin to filter the things in your own backyard, your own world and you become aware of people on the street. You begin to look at them because you don't see that many people on the street."

Gervais said he was very ill during the first few months of 2020 due to a health scare, which forced him to stay inside. 

"I was already self isolating .... I knew what self-isolation was all about," he said. 

But what surprised Gervais was what he started to notice more that he was forced to pause — like his wife's flower garden. 

"I was learning by paying attention to things I was never paying attention to," he said. 

Mulhern hopes people will gain an appreciation for things we can do, rather than being consumed with things we can't.

LISTEN | Tap the player to hear the full interview with Gervais and Mulhern:

Two of Windsor's most accomplished poets have been busy during this COVID-19 lockdown. Mary Ann Mulhern and Marty Gervais have been inspired to pwrite pandemic poetry 11:45


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