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Play on Words Day 4 - Part One - Writing for Wellbeing

On Thursday 26th October, The Hollies in New Milton welcomed the Writing for Wellbeing group for an afternoon’s creativity. In partnership with Solent Mind, this group offers a safe place for attendees to process their thoughts through writing.

Led by Matt West, Director of ArtfulScribe, 6 attendees took part. In the previous session, the group had been tasked to identify and write about a particular word. Two people shared their pieces, one titled ‘Why’ used repetition and anaphora as a poetic technique, while ‘Cinema’ considered how life could be seen as a projection onto a screen.

After a five-minute free write about their week, the group realised they had inadvertently focused on their pets. The group agreed that animals made their wellbeing healthier such as when they took their dogs for a walk, or were comforted by their cat.

Two latecomers arrived just in time for Chapter 4 of Ali Sparkes’ My Sister is a Dog, titled Feel Curls. Inspired by this text, the group set about rewriting their week, only this time from the perspective of animals: a frustrated dog watched a tennis ball game; a chihuahua walked on a beach of boulders.

One member of the group mentioned how calming it felt being in another headspace for a change. This distanced perspective was compared to Martian Poetry, a minor poetic movement in which assumptions about language are challenged by imagining how a Martian might communicate about what they witnessed.

Continuing with the aspect of perspective, Fleur Adcock’s poem Leaving the Tate was read aloud and a new homework challenge was set - to make a frame of two right angles with your fingers and write what's in that frame.

The Writing for Wellbeing session lasted just over two hours, with members looking forward to the rest of the festival. Some people were spotted holding a hand-shaped frame in front of them as they left.

Carla Hall - Breakthrough Artist.

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