This volume of poems addresses the human effects of the coronavirus pandemic including: prolonged illnesses, death, disruption of society, families, the work force, and economy. There are the accompanying emotional effects of grief, distressed orphaned children, over-stressed hospital staffs, anxieties over the shortage of health workers, medication, and other medical needs. There are also increased incidents of suicide and numerous other emotional entanglements and physical conditions for which a country, city, village, and family are often not prepared. At times such as these, language becomes extremely important in how we communicate with one another. How we face the realism and facts of the moment is vital for the health of a person and a nation. One notes especially the importance of the language of political leaders at a time of national and global suffering. The poems also address issues the pandemic has brought into the open, such as racism, the vulnerability of the poor, and the importance of governmental leadership in a national and worldwide crisis. People of faith emphasize the importance of a faith response to our common humanity amid suffering. Among many other questions, they ask: How shall we live with the enduring problem of pandemics that require changing of attitudes and an ongoing concern for others?
S T Kimbrough Jr. holds a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently a research fellow of the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. His books published by Wipf and Stock include: The Lyrical Theology of Charles Wesley; Radical Grace: Justice for the Poor and Marginalized; and Partakers of the Life Divine.
Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of over forty books, including Cross-Shattered Christ, A Cross-Shattered Church, War and the American Difference, and Matthew in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible.