Swiss Poet and humanist Bruno Mercier completed his seventh publication with the Moroccan publishing house “Les Infrequentables.” The collection of 82 poems entitled “Graines de Corona” or “Corona Seed and Other Travel Pollens” is a collaboration between Mercier and his long time friend and Moroccan publisher Abdelrhaffar Souiriji.
The two men shared interest to create an illustrated book of poetry as a response to COVID-19. For the illustrations, Souiriji introduced Moroccan painter Dea El Foutayeni into the team. Utilizing tools like WeTransfer and email, the trio brought their vision to reality.
El Foutayeni’s beautiful illustrations were able to add sensitivity to Mercier’s words. They allowed for themes like frustration, loneliness, longing, and confinement to be artfully communicated to global audiences. The book displays geographically diverse watercolor images, including a coastal scene set in El Jadida including a village in Switzerland and
Creating art in a time where creativity has been stifled by a lack of freedom to go outside or interact with society was challenging for Mercier. He expressed the frustration of feeling trapped with thoughts like the economic effect on the art sector. “Many artists are unsure if they will even be able to buy food in this time,” said Mercier. The poems express a sense of freedom by diverting from the standard poetry structures.
“Three billion confined
Deprived of the outside.
My imagination runs out of the window
Falls on the sidewalk opposite.
I go out to pick it up,
A walk in the void.”
Mercier is a traveling poet who has published 20 poetry collections translated into several languages. His works center on joyful themes like nature and the celebration of life through travel.