Thursday 6 May 2021

Kathleen Bell, "Do You Know How Kind I Am?"

Until recently, Kathleen Bell was an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at De Montfort University. She has published poems in a number of magazines and anthologies including PN Review, New Walk, Under the Radar, Unarmed and A Speaking Silence, and has won prizes in the Nottingham Poetry Competition and the Brittle Star Competition. Her first poetry collection, Disappearances, is due from Shoestring later this year. Kathleen has also published short fiction. She is on Twitter as @kazbel and blogs at

About Do You Know How Kind I Am?

Do You Know How Kind I Am? is a sequence of twenty poems in different voices, all emerging from and responding to the experience of Covid and lockdown. They range from the carefully sympathetic to the hyped-up enthusiasm of the Covid-denier. The poems suggest a greater distance between humans than the mandated 2-metre physical distance illustrated on the cover. 

You can see more details about Do You Know How Kind I Am on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read a sample from the collection. 

From Do You Know How Kind I Am? by Kathleen Bell


Out there’s a woman, driving a bus.
Her only cargo is cloth, metal and air
and at night, light.

Out there’s a man who walks dutiful, slow,
lugging a bag.
Two talk at a distance – a third
leans in to listen.
The masked and gloved make their way
into shops. Some stumble at kerbs.

Others are sniffing the air
as if free but they know
it may hold disaster and death
and breath can bring pain in its train.


Organise, please
one dead celeb a week
or, if you can’t, somebody blonde,
pretty of course, and young
in floods of tears, for failing that
how can we hope
to unite a nation’s grief?

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