Time to Change – #NIMHAFF2017

‘Hold them cheap. May ne’er hung there’ wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins in one of his terrible sonnets. If April is poetry awareness month, mental health belongs to May.

On now (16-29 May), the Northern Ireland Mental Health, Arts and Film Festival – is specifically there to celebrate mental health but also to foster sustaining creative connections between the arts and the world of mental/health.

On the talking about it front, I want to flag up that there are spoken word/poetry and word-based events on the programme.

I am hoping to be able to be part of a ‘A Phoenix Longing’ – a showcase of poetry from an anthology in the process of becoming that is taking place at the Arts and Disability Forum on Saturday 27 May, 11am-1pm. (I have a little difficulty with the timing so have my fingers crossed). I’ll be there in spirit in any case because the compilers have very kindly used the title of my poem as the event title, and indeed the title of the anthology. My phoenix longed for company and it would be great if you were available to attend.

Saturday, 27 May, is a day for poetry on the festival programme and there is a workshop with Poetry NI, and then a reading, in the afternoon at Eastside Visitor Art Centre.

There’s a Red Pill Showcase on this Saturday (20 May) that’s  on the theme- and some great films on the programme also! And, of course, it’s wider than words..

   No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
(Windhover (final stanza) – Gerald Manley Hopkins)


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