THE HEALING POWER OF POETRY

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Host: The Idler Academy
Location: The Idler Academy, 81 Westbourne Park Road, London W2 5QH
Speaker: Rachel Kelly

In 1997 mother and journalist Rachel Kelly went from feeling mildly anxious to being completely unable to function within the space of just three days. Prescribed antidepressants by her doctor, and supported by her husband and her family, Rachel slowly began to get better, but her anxiety levels remained high, and six years later, as a stay-at-home mother, she suffered a second episode even worse than the first.

Black Rainbow is the memoir of Rachel’s recovery from depression with the help of poetry and a testament to the healing power of words.

Rachel will be in conversation with The Idler Academy’s director Victoria Hull. She will tell her story and give tips on where to find particularly useful poetry. She’ll explain why and how she thinks words are healing and she’ll read and discuss one or two poems that she thinks could be useful for anyone else suffering a level of depression.

Rachel worked for ten years at The Times as a reporter and features writer, where she wrote a weekly column about alternative medicine. A long-standing interest in poetry led her to co-found the bestselling app of children’s poetry iF Poems, and edit its companion anthology, IF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility, which was published by Canongate in October 2012. It is now in its fourth edition and one of The Idler Academy’s best sellers. She has hosted several sell-out poetry readings at the Bush Theatre and the Brook Green Festival in 2012, poetry workshops at HMP Wormwood Scrubs and a children’s poetry workshop at Hackwood Arts Festival in June 2013.

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