Welcome to the Guardian's Power of Touch series (July 2020)

Stories and poems full of loss, longing and tenderness.

A few months ago, I wrote a piece for the Guardian titled “Touch saved me from loneliness. What will we become without it?”. It began as a testimony to a world without touch and echoed as a call to action. I reached out to Mahogany L Browne the brilliant, luminous writer, and asked if she would join me as a co-curator of this special series, The Power of Touch.

We agree: many of us are unable to make physical contact with our ageing parents, our children, our dear friends, our family members in other parts of the country or the world. Many of us are stuck in our houses, or behind masks and gowns or plastic shields. Sadly, we are becoming afraid of each other; our bodies, dangerous and lethal. Fear relies on silence and othering. Fear has allowed our neighbourhoods to become islands. Fear of touch, of not enough, of absence.