The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul
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I love her story, too, because it’s all about creativity finding its own unconventional path. Alma shows how we’re all free to invent our working lives, if only we have the imagination, along with the resilience and resourcefulness you need when you’re choosing to go your own way.
This is the second audio book I have ever listened to. The first was We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda ngozi Adichie. Evening walks had me trying this out, in favour of repetitive lyrics, or rhythmic footsteps and labored breathing. It seems to work for me. She and her fellow judges – Jamie Andrews of the British Library, plus poets Tara Bergin, Andrew McMillan and Carol Rumens – read a year’s worth of new collections plus selected poems from magazines and competitions before arriving at their choices. He is founder and Chair of Forward Thinking, a charity that seeks to mediate conflict in the Middle East and to improve relations between the Islamic and Western worlds. He is Vice-President of the Hay Festival of Literature, Chair of CIVIC Libraries Initiative, founder and Chair of Street Smart, Action for the Homeless, Founding Trustee of the Forward Arts Foundation and Trustee of the Grenfell Foundation. He is a former Council Member of the Arts Council England and Chair of its Lottery Panel. He has been a Trustee of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Arts Foundation, the RSA, the British Human Rights and Reprieve, among other voluntary posts.It was Ambulances by Philip Larkin. I had this extraordinary experience. I was about to cross the road when someone stepped in front of me and was hit by a car. I found myself pumping his heart, giving him the kiss of life – amazingly, his heart started beating again. An ambulance came, the police took my statement. Visit Stonehouse Brewery. Learn about the brewing process and sample some of their award-winning beers.
Founder of the Forward Prize for Poetry and National Poetry Day, William Sieghart welcomes you into his Poetry Pharmacy where he serves up poetic prescriptions to soothe the soul. Born in 1960, son of barrister Paul Sieghart, a human rights lawyer, and Felicity Ann Sieghart, chair of the National Association for Gifted Children, magistrate and later managing director of the Aldeburgh Cinema, William is the older brother of Mary Ann Sieghart.  He was educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. He was being interviewed about his anthology Winning Words: Inspiring Poems for Everyday Life(2012) at Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall where a friend suggested he was put in the corner of a tent with two armchairs and a prescription pad.Under five broad headings, this short book covers everything from Anxiety and Convalescence to Heartbreak and Regret. I most appreciated the discussion of slightly more existential states, such as Feelings of Unreality, for which Sieghart prescribes a passage from John Burnside’s “Of Gravity and Light,” about the grounding Buddhist monks find in menial tasks. Pay attention to life’s everyday duties, the poem teaches, and higher insights will come. While reading poetry I often have the distinct impression that I am being good to myself. I get a real professional buzz out of working on this paper every night, but very soon afterwards I can be found with a poem or two in hand, and that gives me a real personal buzz. I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.