I have always loved poetry. Some of my earliest and most treasured memories are of my Granddad reading poetry to me before bed. Poetry isn’t age-appropriate, it doesn’t have a sticker on the box saying only suitable for readers of a certain age. It is for everyone.

Youth may mean that the subtle nuances of understanding may evade the younger reader, but the rhythm and the timbre and the musicality of words is universal.

Poetry can be a release or a celebration or many other things in between. It doesn’t need you to define it. What it does need, is your honesty.

The work that Tom and Nicole have been doing with the poetry workshops has searched for this exact thing. Honesty, and truth, as an expression of the humanity that joins us altogether. Some of the work done on empathy, compassion fatigue and emotional resilience talks about the use of reflective and creative writing as a tool for self protection and respite. Being at the workshops, seeing people share openly their poems and feelings it was clear that the sessions themselves were a cathartic and positive process.

This doesn’t mean that poetry has to be dark and brooding, you only have to read some Larkin or Joseph to enjoy the light-hearted narratives that are both authentic and comical. We sometimes get caught up in the desire to be found deep and meaningful, forgetting the relief that comes from the kind of laugh that that feels like you’ve blown the cobwebs away and started anew.

With that, I invite you to join Tom and Nicole on their journey, to draw pens and notepads and pour yourself onto the page. Or at least to open a door.

Jess Lockett
Student Nurse