Friday, April 27, 2012

Gawler Poetry @ the Pub April 2012

It's all happening again tomorrow, 29 April at the Prince Albert Hotel in Gawler. Poetry Readings, done in a pub, but with the rowdy drinkers kept apart from the reading and listening - it's all about the words!

There's a raffle too, and a guest reader, Mike Hopkins this time because we enjoyed his poetry so much when he read for a few minutes last month! Mike's been writing a new poem every day this month, so he's got plenty of new material to choose from, as well as some fine 'older' poems. I don't know what Mike's going to be reading tomorrow, but I know I'll enjoy being there as he reads it.

The poetry readings are open to all, with only a couple of restrictions on the kind of material, the sorts of restrictions you'd expect regarding fairness  - no sexism, racism, pornography. 

So if you want to try out your words, come along to Gawler - the train goes all the way from Adelaide again now, so you can try out your words on the train on the way if you want to (and if you're brave enough!).

There's a gold coin donation required if you want to read your work, free if you just come along to sip and listen!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wondering about loss ...

I learned today on Facebook about the death of an Adelaide poet, Stephen Lawrence. I didn't really know Stephen, or his poetry, but it feels like I've lost a friend.

The poetry scene in Adelaide and surrounds is like that, it seems. I feel very close to all of the people, the names, the ones I meet regularly and the ones I only meet in passing. I offer my condolences to Stephen's family and friends.

I hope no more of my friends go soon. I need you to all stay here, happy and well.

Losing a friend I never had the chance to get to know hurts, but I know it must hurt so much more for those who truly knew and loved him. Take care everyone, and please keep safe.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Creative Writing, Healing Your Head

Creative writing is used by many others as a way to find a path to healing. I've certainly found a happy place with creative writing, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. I have some of my 'healing' stuff published, and some of it is here on my computer, not out there in the other world.

What my ideal job is going to be, eventually, is to run creative writing workshops for people who are struggling to find peace from the struggles happening inside their heads. Our inner critic is usually our harshest critic. Our critic in our head know just how to hit us when we're down, more that any other critic can.

If you have problems with you inner critic hassling you, one solution can be to free write, just let the words spill out, and refuse to edit a single thing. This free writing can lead to solutions to problems you barely knew were there. I truly believe this kind of thing can be healing. I'm not the only person who has been helped in this way. Narrative therapy is a particular form of therapy that is widely accepted as being a useful way to work with people suffering in their lives.

This is an interesting way of helping people to move beyond the accepted reasons for their problems, and looking at their story in a far broader way. This can bring ideas and ways of helping that have never been considered before. Narrative therapy can lead to the inner core of a person's problems so that the true reasons and ways of helping can emerge.

I'm not a trained therapist though, and don't feel doing this kind of thing is where I want to go. For my own story/problems, I wrote fictionalised versions of what I was dealing with. In this way, I was able to look at things through a variety of points of view. This led to a better understanding of my true role in what had happened and was still happening to me.

This helped my to stop being angry at myself for things I now understand  were not 'my own fault'. Children tend to think everything that happens is because of them. This can be uplifting, if the things happening are good things. But if there are bad things happening, a child can be crushed down, thinking they're to blame for the terrible things going on.

Such things as sexual abuse, divorce of parents, people getting hurt and others can stay with the child into adulthood and beyond. This can be an awful burden for a person, and many never even know why their life is such a sad thing.

I was able to get over the anger toward myself with short stories, and moved on, with poetry, to exploring various ideas on how my life could be made better. I have written about the good things an ongoing illness has brought to me. I have written poetry about my own abuse as a child, looking at how it has affected others too, so I now realise I'm not alone, not suffering all by myself.

Beyond that, I've written all of this down, collated it and put it into a poetry collection. This collection was the things that helped me to finally feel 'healed'. I explored my 'victim' status, and moved onto 'survivor' status. I am healed and I am whole. This feeling is the one I'd love to help others to feel.

If you're interested in this idea, I am happy to discuss it further with you. In the meantime, you may be interested in the blog I put together when I launched my poetry collection, here. Take a look, and tell me what you think!