A stack of postcards.

A drop of hope

A drop of hope

Poetry from a vaccination centre

Twelve virtual poets in residence are writing poems that reflect on the impact of the vaccination program, and the shifts and changes we’ve all gone through in the past year.

They are inspired by the words of those who have been vaccinated within the Crick, the reflections of the volunteers working at the vaccination centre, and the experiences of our local communities.

This is a project run in collaboration between the Francis Crick Institute and Poet in the City.

#DropOfHope

Exhibition details

  • Event name: A drop of hope
  • Start date:
  • End date:
  • Entry type Available to view between May and August 2021
  • Location Outside the Crick, Brill Place, London

The project

The project

In January 2021, the Manby Gallery, the Crick’s public exhibition and events space, was converted to an NHS vaccination centre as part of the national vaccine campaign. It is anticipated that it will offer up to 1000 vaccines a day at peak capacity. 

As the vaccination efforts continue within the Crick, and around the country, we are understanding the impact of science on their everyday lives more than ever. A Drop of Hope reflects on this, and the part we play in a wider community effort.  

In reference to the cumulative effect of each vaccination, the project will evolve and grow throughout the lifetime of the vaccination centre being on site.

Of the 12 poems which will form part of the final installation, two will be in Bengali and two in Somali, reflecting the ethnic diversity of the people who contributed to the project and the community in local Camden.

The poems

Our virtual poets in residence are drawing on the archive of postcards, a rich source of inspiration, themes, language, stories and perspectives.

How it works

How it works

As each person enters the vaccination centre, they are offered a postcard with simple questions that invites them to anonymously share reflections on the personal impact of the pandemic on their lives.  

They are invited to ‘post’ this postcard as they leave. With up to 7,000 vaccinations taking place per week, these comments on these postcards, along with reflections from our volunteers and community, is forming an archive that offers a rich source of inspiration, revealing intriguing patterns in themes, language, stories and perspectives.  

It is this archive that our 12 poets are drawing on, each writing one poem as the outcome of their virtual residency.

Installed in phases between April and June 2021, the poems will fill the Manby Gallery windows and create a rainbow-like form, a symbol that became synonymous with hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Postcard addressed to "Poet in Residence, The Francis Crick Institute"
Stack of handwritten postcards

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A drop of hope is a partnership between the Francis Crick Institute and Poet in the City. 
A drop of hope