On 18 April, 1930, at 8.45pm, the BBC announced: ‘There is no news.’ Piano music played for the rest of the 15-minute bulletin.
So the story goes.
90 poets from across the world reflect on a this marker of a time before the 24-hour news cycle, before the ubiquity of news and information that seems to haunt us through our daily lives. Through this anthology there are poems that capture that moment of nothing but piano music making up an evening news bulletin, poems that contrast this with today’s news, and personal stories grounded in the intervening years.
From the introduction:
When we commissioned the poems, no one could have had any idea of the news that would unfold this year, with the spread of the coronavirus. As we head towards 18 April, the day on which we intended to launch the book in York, countries around the world are in lockdown mode, with individuals isolated at home and attending to the news like never before. We are witnessing an almost unprecedented rate of change to our daily lives, and broadcast news—even with its 21st century sophistication—has barely kept up.
Linda Ashok, Cassandra Atherton, Stuart Barnes, Jerzy Beaumont, Susmita Bhattacharya, Rachel Blau Duplessis, Robyn Bolam, Lisa Brockwell, Andy Brown, Owen Bullock, Maggie Butt, Adrian Caesar, Anne Caldwell, Vahni Capildeo. Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Bernice Chauly, David Clarke, Aidan Coleman, Katharine Coles, Paul Collis, Oliver Comins, Tricia Dearborn, Tjawangwa Dema, Maura Dooley, Tishani Doshi, Ian Duhig, Anne Elvey, Marjorie Evasco, DW Fenza, Martin Figura, Caren Florance, Es Foong, Cliff Forshaw, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Angela Gardner, Philip Gross, Nathalie Handal, Oz Hardwick, Jennifer Harrison, Ramona Herdman, Paul Hetherington, Ranjit Hoskote, Hsien Min Toh, Joshua Ip, Helen Ivory, Andy Jackson, Gopika Jadeja, Jill Jones, Ilya Kaminsky, Mookie Katingbak-Lacuesta, Stephen Knight, Desmond Kon, Lydia Kwa, Theophilus Kwek, Tammy Lai-Ming Ho, Penelope Layland, Michael Leach, Katherine Lockton, Glyn Maxwell, Ian McMillan, Chris Merrill, Alyson Miller,Jazz Money,Helen Mort, Graham Mort, Paul Munden, Marc Nair, Pooja Nansi, Katrina Naomi, K A Nelson, Gemma Nethercote Way, Nessa O’Mahony, Nathanael O’Reilly, Moya Pacey, Robert Pinsky, Alvin Pang, Hamid Roslan, Miles Salter, Matthew Stewart, Shane Strange, Cole Swensen, Robin Thomas, Jen Webb, Susan Wicks, Jessica Wilkinson, Jordan Williams, Kimberley Williams, Alice Willitts, Nicholas Wong, John Yau, Yeow Kai Chai, Alfred A Yuson