Reading and trauma: how the openness of contemporary poetry and haiku facilitates engagement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present here an account of the way we employ the reading of poetry in engaging participants of an intensive four-week creative arts programme known as ARRTS (Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills) for wounded, ill or injured serving military personnel people with injury or illness, to prepare and assist them in writing their own stories. Poetry can deal with experience and perception in unique ways, as can haiku, which are invaluable for their accessibility and depth. The open qualities of our reading matter invite discussion and models the fact that poetry gives us permission to feel and to express ourselves. This discussion and engagement with readings is a key aspect of any prospective writer’s development, and, supplemented by the identification of specific techniques such as enjambment, creates awareness of ways in which it is possible to ‘re-author’ experience for healing effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNew Writing
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2021

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