People from across Greater Manchester come together to write a poetic response to lockdown

A poem for our times by people from Greater Manchester

Ambassadors from the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Local Exchange community programme from across Greater Manchester have come together to create a heartfelt poem expressing their experiences of lockdown and their hopes for the future. 

Keep It In The Day is a beautiful reflection on our lives today, an inspiring collection of thoughts and feelings shaped by these extraordinary times. 

Created via online conversations, award-winning writer and theatre-maker Chris Thorpe spent time with each ambassador group with every conversation feeding into the content, shape and structure of the poem. 

From missing the hustle and bustle of a classroom full of children to learning the names of your neighbours, from babies being born to dating apps, roller-skates, allotments, AA meetings and our exceptional key workers, it’s a poem for our times by people from Greater Manchester.

I never knew that a new world could contain people who thank you for singing to yourself

I miss watching sports that haven’t already happened. 

I miss knowing this thing is live and undecided… 

All that said though, all that said 

There are things from this I’d keep for sure, when we’re allowed hugs, and pubs 

When we can use the word spontaneous again…

“It’s been amazing to work with the ambassador groups, listen to how they are, what they’ve learned, and what they want to pass on,” said Chris Thorpe.

“The Exchange might have connected them with each other, but this poem comes from what they’ve decided to do with that connection. They’ve supported each other, and made something that will help other people feel supported – maybe even inspired to think about the useful changes we can carry out of this difficult situation.”

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