Poetry workshops held in prisons, libraries and bookshops are becoming increasingly important therapy for those who suffer from anxiety and depression.
For many people, the last time they read aloud was as a child. It is wonderful to see the practice rediscovered in adulthood and it also provides a valuable confidence boost for the reader. Poems are often my companions when I feel at my most desperate and alone; sharing poetry with others is one of the most effective ways I can think of to dispel isolation. As I leave the prison or the charity offices, I always feel cheered. We know helping others is one of the best ways to help ourselves. My strength is indeed very slowly being made more perfect in weakness.
Rachel Kelly’s memoir, Black Rainbow: How Words Healed Me – My Journey Through Depression, is published by Hodder & Stoughton