C2D2 Engagement 3a - Order, chaos and chronic illness

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details

Layman's description

The project will engage members of the public, health professionals and researchers in exploring the impact of chronic illness using poetry and poetic forms focusing on the theme of the 2014 Festival of Ideas, “order and chaos”. Engagement activity from April to June will comprise:
- Stand-alone writing and reading workshops for health professionals, researchers and the public
- A series of fortnightly workshops for health professionals and the public
- Stand-alone writing workshops for members of existing community groups
- Interactive website and social media participation with input from poets including Carol Ann Duffy
- Activity at the ‘Science out of the Lab’ community engagement event including displaying participants’ work, online activity and voting for
favourite poem
- Poetry reading event involving poets Ian McMillan, Peter Sansom, Susannah Trevelyan (TBC) and workshop participants
- A significant curated event at the York Festival of Ideas involving poets Simon Armitage, Kathleen Jamie (TBC) and Blake Morrison and others
Participants will be invited to reflect on their experience and this will be used as research material. Other outputs will include an anthology of poetry and other contributions from collaborators, and academic papers. We will use this work to generate further collaboration and a bid to Wellcome Trust.

Key findings

Between April and June 2014 over eighty members of the public, health professionals, and researchers with experience of chronic illness (by which we mean any health condition or disease that is long lasting) took part in a series of poetry writing workshops, focusing on the theme of the 2014 Festival of Ideas "Order and Chaos". Find out more about the project.

Two significant events completed the engagement element of the project as part of the prestigious York Festival of Ideas. On 17th June at Kings Manor, nationally renowned poets Ian McMillan and Peter Sansom read poetry written by workshop participants, and from their own work, to an audience of over 60 who were moved and delighted in equal measure.

On 19th June an audience of 300 people gathered at the Theatre Royal to hear poets Simon Armitage, Gillian Clark, Blake Morrison and Peter Sansom read and consider the relationship between poetry and ill-health. Chaired by Simon Denegri of INVOLVE, the organisation that promotes lay involvement in health research. The audience was treated to readings and discussion on the power of poetry. Asked to choose poems from their own work, Blake Morrison chose “Meningococcus”. Simon read his “Ankylosing Spondylitis” and Gillian “Miracle on St. David’s Day”. You can hear Gillian read this poem at the following link: Miracle on St. David's Day by Gillian Clarke.

Madden, Morley & Sansom (eds). Opening a different window: a poetry and illness anthology. (2014) The Poetry Business
Effective start/end date1/01/1431/12/14