“Poetry is simply speaking the truth. Each of us has a truth as unique as our own fingerprints. Without knowing that truth, without speaking it aloud, we cannot know who we are and that we are already whole. In the most profound way, speaking our truth allows us to know that our life matters.”
Rachel Naomi Remen from the preface to ‘Poetic Medicine: the healing art of poem making’ by John Fox
I write to transform my own experience and to tell the truth. And there is great hunger in this need of mine to tell the truth and to have that truth resonate with other people. In doing so I am able to change my perspective; to re-write my memories. Creative writing can help both the practitioner and audience to heal life’s traumas.
In 2013 I set up Alphabet Soup – creative writing workshops for mothers, with soup! I wanted others to share my experience of how powerfully writing can help us reach new understanding in ourselves and what it is to be human.
Previously an avid reader of fiction, I turned to poetry in desperation when I did not have the time, energy or desire to read long pages of prose with two small children. I’d been put off poetry at school and even now memories of rote-learning the metaphysical poets make my stomach lurch. But I discovered with joy that poetry spoke directly to me. A really good poem could sear right through to my heart in a few words and help me know that I was not alone. I was hooked. I started writing myself a year or so later and although I do not know that I have written a ‘really good poem’ yet, I do know that I have spoken directly to others and helped them feel less alone. In March 2013 I was shortlisted for the York Literature Festival Poetry Prize – the first competition I have ever entered so hopefully I am doing something right!
The first poem I wrote – at 2am one sleepless night after a Mewe meeting – was about my vagina. Only three weeks later I read it out to a roomful of strangers (soon to be supporters and friends) at Magic Words – a monthly spoken word night in Todmorden.
Now I cannot imagine my life without writing.
The poems below are shared on here but please contact me if you would like to read – or indeed hear – more!