Sign saying "ধন্যবাদ It means the world"

A drop of hope

Poetry from a vaccination centre

Past exhibition Start and end dates for exhibition: 4 May 2021 to 2 Sep 2021

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.


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 can 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.

A Drop of Hope closed on 2 September 2021

  • Past exhibition
  • Location


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


Poet in the City Logo
A drop of hope is a partnership between the Francis Crick Institute and Poet in the City. Installation design by Nina Jua Klein and Julian Goll. 
A drop of hope