Solicitor and former Walsall poet laureate Ian Henery has been commissioned to pen Covid-19 related verses

A Walsall solicitor has put his creative talents to use after being commissioned to pen poems about living in the Covid19 lock-down.

Ian Henery, who has practices in Willenhall and Birmingham, wrote a series of poems around the theme of social distancing, after being commissioned by Walsall For All community organisation.

While he is well-versed in Law, Mr Henery is also no stranger to composing pieces as he was Walsall’s Poet Laureate for three years between 2011 and 2014.

Mr Henery, who has written five collections of poems, said: “The world needs to come together to keep safe but, ironically, coming together means staying apart to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by social distancing.

“In a time of limited social interaction we can see the power of words.

“It’s a difficult time for everyone and we need poetry more than ever quite simply to bring people together – but six feet apart and not six feet under.”

He added: “These poems were written at a time when Ramadan was under way and set to be observed by millions of Muslim people.

“The coronavirus pandemic greatly affected the rituals which were modified to fit physical distancing measures in place all over the globe.

“I was greatly inspired by what Muslim people were doing at this difficult time.

As well as featuring on the Walsall For All website, the poems have already been aired on a global platform called Speak Your Peace.

The five-week expressive arts series, based online, was hosted by iLikeZach in New York along with the Stafford Space Station.

Mr Henery said: “For one hour each week expressive individuals were invited to join a Zoom session online curated by Zach to share their poems, art and music.

“The core purpose was simple – to demonstrate that amidst the fear, uncertainty and separation that we’re all currently processing – the human capacity to express experience through art forms will always prevail over the limits of our circumstance.

He has also read the poems out at virtual open mic performances in Birmingham, the Black Country and Brighton.

Mr Henery’s social distancing poems can be read here.

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