An inspiring new book, Resilience, sees local writers respond to the challenges of lockdown. Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. It’s a word we can all associate with the history and people of the Forest of Dean. At the beginning of this new era of Covid lockdowns, Dean Writers Circle invited local writers to submit work for a prose and poetry anthology on the theme of Resilience. This new book, with an introduction by Forest-based bestselling author Andrew Taylor, is their response. Many of the writers and poets published here are Dean Writers Circle members and all contributors either live in or have a close connection with the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley. They know first-hand the long history of resilience of the people, the flora and fauna, and the landscape. The contributions are from writers with all levels of experience, and what brings them together is their passion for this unique corner of the world, and their belief in its continuing resilience in these extraordinary times. Proceeds from the sale of this anthology are being donated to Forest Read Easy Deal (FRED), a charity which facilitates adult literacy.
Reading the Forest’s Anna Grimmett had sight of an advance copy and reviews it here:
The Resilience Anthology is a beautiful collection of almost fifty pieces of prose and poetry sent by local writers in response to a call out from the Dean Writers Circle toward the beginning of lockdown. With the prompt of “resilience”, writers of all ages and with various levels of experience, submitted imaginative and varied interpretations on this theme, some based on real events and others completely fictional.
I had the pleasure of a sneak preview and initially read through it over the course of a few days, finding that I needed time to digest and reflect, particularly on the personal pieces. I learnt more about the Forest of Dean’s history and enjoyed the opportunity of sharing in people’s heartfelt descriptions of the resilience inspired through the unique local landscape, flora and fauna (which wound their way into so many of the submissions). I also found it an easy collection to dip back into and although I’d hoped to find a few pieces to share here, in the end I had far too many markers for those which took hold of my curiosity.
It felt like looking through a box of treasures, with the order working smoothly and the mix of poetry and prose not seeming muddled at all. The pieces are so varied that it’s very likely you will find something which resonates with your own experience or challenges in life, for whatever mood you find yourself in - if you need deeper reflection and perspective on something, or if you need a bit of courage or your spirits lifted. Certainly for me, what has built resilience through the toughest times, is being reminded that I am not alone and reading through this anthology did just that. I know it will be a valuable addition to my resilience tool box, along with so many of the wise Forest trees.
‘Resilience’is priced at £7.50 + £1.75 P&P and is available to order direct from the publisher, Holborn House