Saturday, 17 November 2012

Creative Writing and Dementia

I have just got back from a very stimulating training day provided by Bangor University, in partnership with Literature Wales at Ty Newydd, as part of their Creative Writing & Dementia Programme. The training is for creative writers to work directly with care home residents who have been diagnosed with Dementia.

John Killick did the morning presentation and workshop. John is a freelance writer who works with people with dementia by recording their conversations, and with their permission, writes and publishes their words in poetic fashion.

In the evening John presented and read poetry that had emerged from his work with persons with dementia. This was an extremely uplifting and inspiring experience.

 This is a poem I wrote about my grandmother who had dementia in the later stages of her life.

 Last Orders

Those final years
you kept The Colliers Arms,
bartered pale ale
for piano lessons
from the self taught drunk
banging the bar
for one more tuneful pint.

You never relished calling time,
turning out familiar faces,
emptying their dregs,
tables sticky with spills,
spit in the sawdust.

That August,
strident with missed notes,
I stood beside your bed,
turned pages while you read
the score like Braille.
All sense of timing lost,
those soured slops of days.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely poem Gill - I've been reading if not always commenting this week. Only twelve days to go!