The Stay at Home! Literary Festival – Week 2 – Part 2 #SAHF 2021

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Wednesday 5th

MeToo / #Us Together

Three years after the emergence of the global #MeToo movement, we revisit the poems (and poets) behind the #MeToo Women’s Poetry Anthology. Poets Jill Abram, Deborah Alma, Kim Moore, Wendy Pratt, Victoria Bennett, and Jhilmil Breckenridge discuss breaking the silence, whether there is still hope for change, and what needs to happen next for survivors to be heard. Any donations contributed during this event will be given to Women’s Aid.

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SAHLF Bookshop

The proceeds from this event and all proceeds from the book go to Women’s Aid – a charity supporting women in crisis.

Author Bio

Jill Abram

Jill Abram is Director of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, a collective encouraging craft, community and development. Publications include The Rialto, Magma, Under the Radar, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, and Harana.

Deborah Alma

Deborah Alma is a UK poet and teacher. Deborah is editor of #MeToo: A Women’s Poetry Anthology. Her first full collection, Dirty Laundry, is published by Nine Arches Press and she now runs the Poetry Pharmacy in Shropshire.

Kim Moore

Kim Moore’s first collection The Art of Falling (Seren, 2015) won the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married will be published by Seren in October 2021.

Wendy Pratt

Wendy Pratt’s latest collection When I Think of My Body as a Horse won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet award. She is a poet, author and workshop facilitator and the creator and editor of Spelt magazine.

Victoria Bennett

Her most recent poetry pamphlet, To Start The Year From Its Quiet Centre, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2020, and is an invitation to witness to the intimate moments of dying, telling the story of a relationship between women that is transformed through grief.

Jhilmil Breckenridge

Jhilmil Breckenridge is a poet, writer and activist. She is the founder of Bhor Foundation, an Indian charity, which is active in mental health advocacy. Her debut poetry collection is Reclamation Song.

© SAHLF Programme

#Me Too was first coined in 2006 by New Yorker Toronto Burke. In 2017 following major press coverage (Harvey Weinstein) the # was used over 12 million times in a couple of weeks. Deborah Alma, after following the news, put out a message on Facebook asking who HADN’T experienced… and only 3% hadn’t. And actually in further conversation, this 3% had as well. The book was published in 2018 (Fair Acre Press), in a time when the #me too movement was hitting everyone’s radar.

Sadly, it is still a necessary message to get out to the world. More so since Lockdown.

I went to a few #Me Too readings when the book was launched. My submission didn’t make it between the cover there were hundreds of submissions and the book couldn’t accommodate them all, so Victoria Bennett stepped in and published them on the Wild Women Press website (mine can be found here along with many others). It was also included in a body of work exhibited as part of the ASKING FOR IT exhibition in 2019.

It was hearing Kim Moore read from The Art of Falling, which enabled me to find the strength to write it into existence in the first place.

This, I knew would be a brilliant reading and it was with lots of Q&A too and because of the weight of the subject matter they finished the event off with a touch of self-care. A question to every member of the panel.

SAHLF Bookshop
SAHLF Bookshop
SAHLF Bookshop
SAHLF Bookshop

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When Pain Doesn’t Define Your Story

Explore the ways fiction writing can be used as a powerful distraction to help manage chronic pain in this one-hour workshop led by Gillian Shirreffs, a writer who lives with multiple sclerosis.

Author Bio:

Gillian is a Glasgow-based writer with a doctorate in Creative Writing and a background in teaching. She uses fiction to explore the world of illness and the essay form to examine hidden medical places and spaces. Her work has appeared in The Interpreter’s House literary journal, thi wurd fiction magazine, the anthology, Tales from a Cancelled Country, and the medical humanities journal, The Polyphony, amongst others. She’s led workshops that explore the way fiction writing can be used as a distraction to help manage chronic pain for Glasgow Women’s Library and The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. © SAHLF Programme

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This was an incredible workshop and I am so glad I didn’t miss it! If you suffer chronic pain and are a writer, go and watch this session if you can.

I can finally see why 2019 was NOT a creative year for me.

MORE COMING tomorrow!

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