Today on My Poetic Side we bring you an article about the Poetry Pharmacy and we also take a look at the DASHing Words in Motion poetry competition.
The Poetry Pharmacy
You might not have thought of poetry as therapeutic but for many people it is, and this is exactly why William Sieghart, the founder of National Poetry Day set up the Poetry Pharmacy.
The idea can to him one day when as he was crossing the road he witnessed a car accident, once he had regained his composure the poem “Ambulances” by Philip Larkin popped into his head and afforded him some support over what he had seen. There are so many poems out there, it really is possible to find one to help you whatever you are going through by showing you that others have gone through it before.
The Poetry Pharmacy started out as 2 armchairs in a tent at literary festivals, armed with a prescription pad, visitors were given 10-minute slots with Sieghart during which he “prescribed” them a poem. Such was the success of this venture that hours later there would still be queues of people waiting for their poem.
Sieghart collected poems to help people with whatever ailed them, from loneliness to romantic boredom, sexual repression to being over whelmed by the news and put them in a book
The Guardian Newspaper are offering readers the chance to be prescribed a poem. The Poetry Pharmacy will be open this Friday, 15th December, from 1pm. All readers need to do is post a description of their situation in the comments section of the website for the article and William Sieghart will chose them a poem. They will also be giving away 10 copies of Sieghart’s book to lucky commentators.
Poetry on Buses
It seems that displaying poetry in public places; sidewalks, the side of buildings and even on trains has become the latest way of attempting to bring poetry into every day life. Now the city of Alexandria in Virginia is set to become one of the latest cities to add its name to the list of places doing just this.
They have launched their “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry competition which is open to city residents aged 16 and up. DASH buses and Trolleys are run by the Alexandria Transit Company and service the city, the hope is that the winning entries in the competition will be displayed on either the buses, trolleys and even at the bus stops where they will provide the public with poetry during their journeys.
Submissions to the competition should address the subjects of travel and modes of transportation and should be submitted by the closing date of February 1st, 2018. The plan is for winning entries to be published and then displayed in time for the National Poetry Month 2018, which falls in April.