It’s well know that literature is good for your mental health, and so when we heard about this fantastic initiative we could only nod along and agree what a great idea it is!
Literature academics from Keele University are opening a “Poetry Pharmacy” to dispense literary first aid as a way of reaping the therapeutic benefits of poetry to the local community to promote and support good mental health.
Deborah Alma, a lecturer in creative writing at Keele University and senior lecturer and poet James Sheard have started the new venture as a way to showcase poetry and focus on good mental health and wellbeing. The Poetry Pharmacy is set in a Victorian shop on the high street of the Shrophire town of Bishop’s Castle. The launch event took place on 3rd October and is now officially open for visitors.
The venture is supported by Arts Council funding and will offer free consultations every Friday. The shop will also be used to offer community courses in poetry and a selection of specialist day retreats based around the idea that creative practice is a healing response to difficulty and trauma.
A dispensing ‘pharmacist’ will be on hand at all sessions to prescribe some poetic medicine for all emotions!
Deborah Alma, the Emergency Poet, said: “We believe that poetry can do so much to match or alter a mood, to assist in so many ways with good mental health. The Poetry Pharmacy is a way for us to the therapeutic effects of poetry under one roof, with an emphasis on well-being and inclusivity.”