TYAC Poetry Workshop helps support professional members

The TYAC Professional Education Group (PEG) organised a poetry experience with Beth Calverley as a creative activity for professionals, knowing the extra pressure that COVID has brought them.

We reached out to professionals through our network to engage them with this activity and have had fantastic feedback: “I loved doing this poem with Beth- she is truly talented - and the result is fabulous!”

As part of the work, we have developed a video workshop which aims to guide professionals through some creative step-by-step approaches to poetry-writing. 

TYAC members can access the poetry workshop resources in our member resource library

Reaching Out

As part of this work, members created a poem entitled 'Reaching Out'. 

This poem is a collaboration between Beth Calverley and professionals involved in the treatment, care and support of teenagers and young adults with cancer. The poem contains a breadth of thoughts and feelings about what the collaborators' work means to them. It also touches on their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How this poem was made

Beth hosted a day of virtual poetry co-creation sessions with professionals who volunteered to take part. The poems they co-created were private and personal to each co-creator. Beth typed the poems on her typewriter, before stamping, enveloping and posting them to each collaborator. Co-creators gave permission for Beth's notes from the co-creation sessions to be woven into this public response poem, titled Reaching Out. Some contributions were shared in writing rather than verbally. Discussions about trees grew from many of the conversations, so trees are the core image of the piece. The poem was shared with every contributor for their feedback, before being filmed.

Content warning: Reaching Out touches on themes of illness, grief, overwhelm and rumination as well as joy and gratitude. The poet hopes that the use of nature imagery conveys these themes gently, yet she advises viewers to choose whether and when they feel comfortable watching this video.

You can also download and read the poem here.