This is Virus

This is Virus, published in June 2020, is a short pamphlet, created using the technique of erasure poetry (also known as blackout poetry), in which material is removed from a piece of source text, leaving just a few words on the page, to make a new work. It received a special mention in the Best Poetry Pamphlet category of the 2021 Saboteur Awards.

In April 2020, with the United Kingdom in lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, every household in the country received a letter from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, with an accompanying leaflet containing information and instructions for the public during this period.

This is Virus was created using that letter and leaflet as its source material.

This is Virus extract
This is Virus extract

“Clever, challenging and visually striking – experimental poetry at its best.”

Natalie Scott

“Harking back to Camus’ The Plague, Joe Williams uses the austerity of found poetry as an antidote to troubled times, in which our future – as Camus wrote – feels suppressed. The bleak isolation of these words may provide a meaning to ours.”

Alicia Fernández

“In few words, This is Virus conveys real impact, and provides an effective commentary on the most topical of themes. A story whose ending we don’t as yet know. One we are living right now.”

Su Ryder

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You can buy This is Virus here for £4 plus postage, or direct from Joe at events. A selection of This is Virus merchandise is available at Joe’s Redbubble shop.

Below are some links to further reviews of This is Virus. These are external websites and will open in a new browser tab.

Mat Riches, Sphinx Reviews.
Steve Whitaker, Yorkshire Times.
Poet & Geek.