"Air Your Despair. Find Your Mind. Own Your Poem." Submitted image

In this year of stress and unrest, the poets in Beth Jacobs’s writing group at Family Focus took on 2020 with the poignancy and verve that have become their hallmarks. Poems reflecting the isolation enforced by COVID-19, nationwide, local calls for racial justice, and the strains of everyday living will soon be available in a book, “Family Focus Faces 2020 With Poetry,” funded by a grant from the Evanston Arts Council.

Earlier this month, Ms. Jacobs convened the first Family Focus Writing Circle, held via Zoom, to discuss the year 2020. “Air your despair. Find your mind. Own your poem” the invitation read.

With Ms. Jacobs as their facilitator and their own experiences as their muse, these writers, of all ages, are making a time capsule of 2020, using many of their 200 poems to “capture memories and images of the good and bad of this eventful year we have all had,” Ms. Jacobs said.

A video trailer created by Northlight Theatre and a book-release party are in the works, Ms. Jacobs said.

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...