• Autumn falls into view

    Autumn for Wee Read will have some exciting times! Tomorrow we continue at the lovely Maggie’s Centre at The Monklands in Coatbridge with a selection of poems to inspire.

    Wee Read expressive writing group happens between 1pm first Tuesday of each month.Anyone affected by cancer can join just a small group sharing chat and reading some poems together.Whatever you write is right!Contact the lovely Maggie’s staff on  01236 771199.

    Tomorrow I will bring an extract of a Walt Whitman poem, Miracles.He is one of my favourite writers, who inspired me at the age of 12 or so to keep writing the ‘long thin stuff’ (poetry as described by A.L. Kennedy) .

    Extract

    ‘Why, who makes much of a miracle?
    As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
    Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
    Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
    Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
    water,
    Or stand under trees in the woods, To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,

    Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,

    Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the

    same,

    Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

    To me the sea is a continual miracle,

    The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the

    ships with men in them,

    What stranger miracles are there?’

    Walt Whitman

    Our Director, Adrian is busy in the background, finishing his first novel so it as an exciting time .

    At the end of this month, I celebrate my birthday and visit Paris for the first time,

    here is another extract which is about Paris:

    See Paris First – Extract

    Suppose that what you fear

    could be trapped,

    and held in Paris.

    Then you would have

    the courage to go

    everywhere in the world.

    All the directions of the compass

    open to you,

    But then danger

    seems too close

    even to those boundaries,

    and you feel

    the timid part of you

    covering the whole globe again.

    You need the kind of friend

    who learns your secret and says,

    ” See Paris first”.

    M. Truman Cooper

     

     

     

    Around the Hallowe’en time of year, I have been invited to give a presentation on Bibliotherapy and its’ applications or usefulness to mental heath nurses and patients, at the  Unite/Mental Health Nurses Association Conference, delivered in partnership with the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University.  So I will be  asking the question is our NHS really worth celebrating after 70 years? And suggesting that bibliotherapy can improve our services in a cheap and effective way!  The venue is Augustine United Church,  41 George IV Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1EL

    It is on the 29th October, aimed at mental health nurses/students and here are details,

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unitemental-health-nurses-association-scottish-conference-2018-the-nhs-at-70-a-happy-birthday-tickets-45890118580

     

    I will also take my co-director, Morin Fenton one of our volunteers for our Wee Read committee.

  • Teach This Poem – Academy of American Poets

     

    The Academy of American Poets

    A great resource for anyone in creative bibliotherapy! I wanted to share their news of an award they just received and just rejoice in their merits, what a great poetry organisation!

    The 2018 Award for Innovations in Reading Prize for Teach This Poem.

    I used this resource not to teach a poem in a school setting, but to discover a new poem and get hints about how best to use it with the group – whichever group I happen to be working with.

    When I select poems to bring to a group, I use a few resources, the main one my own memory.I connect a few poets, themes, and the muse provides something too..

    Imagination brings it home and I have a session usually with 5 or 6 pieces and exercises for people.They will be the planned content for my Wee Read expressive reading and writing sessions, that usually last about one and a half to two hours.But things can often change from the plan. That depends on who is there,- how I feel, or, what I intuit from the feel of the group. It’s not an art that is easily taught. Practising it is the only way to get the hang of it I think.

    Another great source from the Academy of American Poets that really helped me to build up a store of poets and poems I can use is the ‘Poem a Day’. You can sign up for a daily poem sent to your email inbox. Worth it just for a bit of inspiration!  When you are starting to facilitate poetry sessions, you want to have plenty of resources to have at hand. So a daily reading schedule for yourself is a big help, and the daily poems from the Academy can be a great boost as well.

    Just as I was browsing there today, I see a celebration of Walt Whitman’s birthday by Allen Ginsberg  

    A double-dunt as we say in Glasgow.Enjoy reading and browsing this brilliant website, plus it has audio and videos.

     

    Walt Whitman

    One’s-self I sing, a simple separate person,
    Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.
    Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
    Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the
    Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,
    The Female equally with the Male I sing.
    Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
    Cheerful, for freest action form’d under the laws divine,
    The modern man I sing.