Lines and Lessons: Irish sisters document one year in poetry and prints
"The poems became something that I could offer other people."
Last year, Alice Kiernan started sharing one poem a month. On Twitter and Instagram, she posted her work every four weeks, a stanza or two sometimes echoing uncertainty, oftentimes reflecting hope.
Eventually Alice teamed up with her sister Lucy, an artist based in Melbourne, to add something else to the poetry; beautiful drawings to accompany each piece that are currently for sale over on Etsy.
"I noticed that people started to connect with them and I wanted to find a way for them to become more than just posts on my Twitter and Instagram feeds," Alice tells Her.
"My sister came up with the name Lines and Lessons and it summarised what the poems and prints were all about. It was a really great way to stay in contact with her through all of this and for both of us to have something to work on."
Alice began sharing her poems long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ireland. Soon, what had began as a standard enough year quickly became an unforeseen stretch of time - oftentimes filled with turmoil, upset, and uncertainty.
"As the pandemic hit, I really noticed that the poems became something that I could offer other people," Alice says. "Engagement on my social media went up and particularly from April - July I was getting lots of comments and messages like 'I needed to see this today.'
Alice continued to post her poetry each month, documenting the passing of time during a period that was entirely unprecedented, where it sometimes seemed like time was all we had.
What had started as something she enjoyed doing for herself soon became something that her followers looked forward to every month.
"As the months went on, it became a good way for me to constantly check in with myself," she says, "see how I was feeling, and use that to offer words of support to other people online."
March and September are Alice's favourites poems of the series - not just because they both performed well online, but because of their similarities despite being written half a year apart.
"They're both about hope and overcoming darkness and change but they came at two completely different times," says Alice.
"March was written before there was ever even a Covid case in Ireland and September was written when things started to go down again after a tough few months.
"I find it interesting that even after six months, people still seemed to hold onto the hope that things will get better both in March and in September."
You can check out Lines and Lessons on Etsy here.