Update: Visit their website to find out about their #SummerLetterChallenge. It looks really interesting! - Richard
We all love receiving a handwritten letter through the post, the feeling you get. That rush of excitement, the anticipation of ‘what’s inside?!’ - Reading well thought out words from someone close to us, offering an opportunity of reflection and even becoming a tactile keep sake for the future. Letters provide us with such a wholesome experience.
Leslie Tate’s novel, Heaven’s Rage, describes the life and loves of an emerging cross dresser in the 1970s and 1980s. His insights have been made into a well-received short film which is currently touring the UK. Here, he describes how the raised profile of trans people has affected him as a man, and a writer.
This year I was a first time attendee at the NAPT Annual Conference and this was my first time in America. The theme of the conference was Poetry Therapy in a changing world: Pathways to Growth, Healing and Social Justice and was held at the Conference Centre in Chaska, Minneapolis.
Claire will be running small group taster sessions in writing for wellbeing at the Chepstow Therapy Rooms. The group will be trying out writing exercises that promote a positive and healthy wellbeing in a nurturing and friendly environment, with the possibility of starting a monthly group.
Writing as Alchemy: a nourishing & inspiring weekend retreat, tapping into the elements, your self and your potential for transformation through the use of poetry, creativity, meditation and woodland walks. Set in the beautiful countryside of North Shropshire.
Date: 4th May 2018
"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.” Aldous Huxley
Let's get together, tap into our creativity and discover more about ourselves through poetry, self-reflective writing and conversation.
Book Review: Poetry and Dementia, by John Killick, published by Jessica Kingsley, 2018,
ISBN 9781785921766, £16.99
I was fortunate to hear John Killick’s address at the Breathing Space conference held at Snowdonia in November 2017. He began by talking about the fashion in contemporary poetry for obscure meaning and identified a trend towards more accessible, more natural writing, arguing that there is greater value in what has clarity of meaning. He allied himself with Peter Elbow’s approach to language and the application of speech to writing, as described in Peter’s book, Vernacular Eloquence. Indeed, he refers to Elbow’s work in his postscript in Poetry and Dementia, published by Jessica Kingsley, 2018, when he discusses the quality of the language of people with dementia, describing it as ‘the Poetry of Natural Speech’.
This weekend, a good friend of mine attended the first-ever Stockholm Writers Festival, where Jessica Lourey was a guest speaker. Ms. Lourey, an author and writing facilitator, has a moving story about the role of stories in her life – specifically, how re-writing your most difficult moments can bring a new perspective, closure, and freedom.
I’m a notebook freak.
I buy them whenever I come across them. Spiral-bound or stapled; hardcover or soft; all sizes, shapes, and colors; extra points if the cover makes me laugh. I prefer them with lines: pale blue tracks that route my train of thought, long corridors where my words run like the bulls in Spain: coursing, angular, driven.
Tony Page has used his experience as a chartered psychologist to craft an interesting psycho-history of his family secrets. Secret Box: Searching for Dad in a Century of Self, is published this month by Telling Stories. He spoke to Barbara Bloomfield about dads, families and the craft of memoir.
Peace and Palindrome
A poetry writing workshop at
Canada Water library, London SE16
Saturday April 21st 1.30-4.30pm
A small low cost workshop for both new and experienced writers of poetry, facilitated by Alison Clayburn, a poet and fiction writer with thirty years tutoring experience.
This workshop will focus on a topic: peace and then a particular form of poetry: palindrome
An alliance of cultural organisations from across England launches a new national body to develop and promote the role of arts and culture in supporting the country’s health and wellbeing (launch 13 March 2018).
Thursday 22nd March 2018, 09:30 - 16:00
Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester CH1 2AR
The Beyond Text team invite practitioners and researchers from all disciplines to attend an exciting open workshop at Storyhouse, which will support participants to conduct high quality arts-based research, assessment and evaluation through practice.
These 1-day workshops give participants the opportunity to explore the personal and professional qualities involved in the practice of Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes.
Participants will be invited to engage in creative writing exercises and also to respond to their experience in plenary sessions with peers and tutors.
Below is information about two online courses, run by the Professional Writing Academy, titled Running Writing Groups and Introduction to Therapeutic and Reflective Writing.
Monica Suswin has published two of the books in her series of four mini-books on creative therapeutic writing: A Fox Crossed My Path and Love & Loss (due out this spring). She very kindly wrote this piece for us about her experience writing the books and the process that led to their conception.
Writing is generous in its wisdom
(from one of many freewrites)
Fifteen years ago my writing was squeezed into short bursts of time, often on the back of envelopes. Although I’d already gained an MA in Creative Writing at Sussex University (2002), and was part of a vibrant writers’ group of poets and novelists, at home I had a teenage daughter, and elderly parents (living a couple of hours away) who were increasingly needing attention. I was an avid scribbler, but didn’t fully dare to call myself a writer.