Friday: Published During the Pandemic

Featuring Sarona Abuaker, Jeremy Dixon, Dai George & Ilse Pedler. Chaired by Rhian Edwards

Date: Friday 29th July
Time: 14:30
Venue: Theatre
Price: £5.00 / £3.00

What was it like to be published in the pandemic?

Daily showcase of poets and collections that were published during the pandemic, whose book launches were reduced to Zoom readings, audiences on mute, silent applause and bedroom backgrounds. Published During the Pandemic is the daily event that seeks to give these poets the book launches they lost with the inimitable atmosphere and energy of a live audience and stage.

Sarona Abuaker’s Why so few women on the streets at night has been described as an ‘extraordinary debut collection’ by Bhanu Kapil, featuring powerful and experimental work. Jeremy Dixon’s brilliant debut A Voice Coming from Then is a moving story of healing, triumph and overcoming prejudice. Isle Pedler’s first poetry collection, Auscultation, draws on experiences as a vet to cultivate poems that approach the world by listening and paying attention. Finally, Dai George presents poems from his superb second collection, Karaoke King, which addresses the contentious nature of the times as the poet moves through urban and digital spaces feeling both uneasy and exhilarated.


Sarona Abuaker is a poet, artist, and educational outreach worker. Her poems have been published in Berfrois, MAP Magazine, and the87press’ Digital Poetics series. Her mixed-media essay Suture Fragmentations – A Note on Return was published in December 2020 with KOHL: A Journal for Body and Gender Research. She is based in London. Why so few women on the street at night is her debut collection (the87press, 2021).

Jeremy Dixon is a poet and maker of Artist’s Books. His poetry has appeared in Butcher’s Dog, Found Poetry Review, HIV Here & Now, Impossible Archetype, Lighthouse Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Roundyhouse and other print and online magazines. He is the author of the pamphlet IN RETAIL (Arachne Press, 2019). His first full collection A VOICE COMING FROM THEN was published by Arachne Press in 2021. The book deals with themes of bullying, queerphobia and his teenage suicide attempt. It also includes unexpected typography, collage, humour, magic, discotheques and frequent appearances by a Victorian demon, Spring-Heeled Jack. Photo credit: Natalie Shaw

Dai George is a poet, novelist and critic from Cardiff, now living in London. His first poetry collection, The Claims Office, was an Evening Standard book of the year and his second, titled Karaoke King, was published by Seren in June 2021. His work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including Poetry Review, Poetry Wales and Islands Are But Mountains: New Poetry from the United Kingdom. His first novel, The Counterplot, is available as an Audible Original

Ilse Pedler won the Mslexia Pamphlet competition in 2015 with The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels and her first collection Auscultation was published by Seren in 2021. She writes from the unique viewpoint of a practising veterinary surgeon. Her poems explore the life of the of the consulting room, operating theatre and farm. She brings in wider themes of scientific knowledge, belonging and family, in particular her experience of being a stepmother. She is also the poet in residence at Sidmouth Folk Festival and is an experienced workshop leader.

Rhian Edwards is a multi-award winning poet and the newly appointed poetry editor of Seren. Her first collection Clueless Dogs (Seren 2012) won Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013 and the People’s Choice 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2012. Rhian’s second collection The Estate Agent’s Daughter (Seren 2020) was a National Poetry Day Recommended Read for 2020. Rhian has two pamphlets of poems Parade the Fib, (Tall-Lighthouse 2008), Poetry Book Society Choice for autumn 2008 and Brood (Seren 2017), a pamphlet of illustrated bird poems.