Poetry & Health

Culture Weston and the Arts and Culture programme of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) are thrilled to present an inspiring evening of online poetry, recorded from a live zoom event on Friday 26 June 2020.

The ‘Poetry + Health’ event celebrates the success of the These Are The Hands NHS Poetry Anthology, the first poetry collection to feature poems by NHS staff.

“A wonderful anthology to celebrate the NHS, which is itself the best poem a country has ever written” Stephen Fry

This nurturing online event showcases the poetry of NHS workers at UHBW published in the book, who performed their contributions alongside acclaimed local poets writing within healthcare and community settings. There is also an insightful conversation, discussing the benefits of creative writing in healthcare environments. .

‘Poetry + Health’ will be curated by Beth Calverley, Poet in Residence at UHBW NHS Trust and founder of the wonderful ‘The Poetry Machine’ who has two poems published in the These Are The Hands collection. She will be joined by fellow UHBW colleagues and poets also reading their entries from the anthology – Katrina Curtis, Respiratory Physician at UHBW and Rachel McCoubrie, Consultant in Palliative Medicine and lead wellbeing consultant for doctors and dentists, UHBW.

Beth Calverley said: “’Poetry + Health’ is a celebration of Weston and Bristol based poets who blend the worlds of poetry and health. As Poet in Residence for UHBW NHS Foundation Trust, I see first-hand the benefit that poetry can have on people who are isolated, anxious and unwell, as well as the joy and confidence it can bring to people from all walks of life. We hope this online event will help people to think about the benefits of creative writing from fresh perspectives and enjoy an evening of being immersed in the magic of poetry.”

Other poets who took part are Helen Sheppard, a Bristol-based poet and former Neonatal Midwife also published in These Are The Hands; Dr Elizabeth Osmond, Neonatologist and facilitator of a staff creative writing group for reflective practice sessions, UHBW; Stephen Lightbown, a Bristol-based poet, champion of disability rights and Director of Comms at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and Bob Walton, a published poet who co-runs the ‘Chapter 1’ creative writing group in Weston in association with Theatre Orchard, free, open to all sessions currently taking place on zoom and providing support for older people who are shielding.

Culture Weston and the Arts and Culture programme of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) are thrilled to present an inspiring evening of online poetry, recorded from a live zoom event on Friday 26 June 2020. …