poems for Grenfell Tower encourages readers to listen and bear witness to the human cost of Grenfell. The poems are able to express the scale of loss, in a way that prose is not able to do — from the empty school chair invoked in Michael Rosen’s piece, to Rachel Burns’s ‘In a Hotel Room, A Father Sits Alone’. Unlike countless newspaper articles and reports in the media, poetry goes some of the way in allowing the reader to understand what is really missing — a child in a schoolroom, a much loved daughter.
Poems for Grenfell Tower brings together many different poets, whose voices are joined together in elegy. Ricky Nuttall, a Red Watch ﬁreﬁghter who attended Grenfell, offers a heart-wrenching account of coming to terms with what happened. His heroism is reinforced by Christine Barton’s ‘Red Watch’, which pays a moving tribute to the work of ﬁreﬁghters. Poems such as these are able go beyond the limits of prose in expressing the impact of the tragedy. In doing so, they offer an important way in which the voices of Grenfell are heard.
(from the foreword by David Lammy, MP)