On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April, poets Christina Thatcher and Janet Lees are hosting a weekend of creative exploration on 'taboo' subjects including addiction, death and grief – made possible by funding from the Isle of Man Arts Council and supported by Manx Litfest. All the events will take place at Noa Bakehouse, Fort Street, Douglas.
On Saturday 14 April between 3 and 6pm, Janet and Christina will co-host a creative writing workshop on the theme of addiction and recovery. Exclusively for those in recovery or with addiction issues, this three-hour session gives people the opportunity to reflect on their lives, as well as their experience of addiction and/or recovery. Participants will be invited to read and discuss contemporary writing, produce their own creative pieces and share their work in a warm and supportive private space. The workshop is free but places need to be booked in advance – email Janet or call 470941.
Starting at 8pm on Saturday 14 April, the 'Road to Recovery' reading and open mic event will open with readings on addiction, grief, love and family from Christina and Janet, followed by an open mic for anyone who'd like to read work related to the topic. This event is free and everyone is welcome.
'We are all in recovery from something. I lost my own father to a drug addiction and following his death, the sense of isolation made it difficult to do ordinary things like go to work, buy groceries and sleep. For me, reading and writing poetry brought much needed comfort by letting me know I was not alone in my grief. I am now delighted to be able to run these events with Janet, giving the community the opportunity to come together and share their own struggles and recovery journey, whatever those may be.'
On Sunday 15 April between 3 and 6pm, 'Into the Darkness: Death & Poetry' is a three-hour writing workshop exploring the dark emotions we all experience in our lives, providing a safe, supportive space to discuss death and write about fear, grief and loss. During the afternoon the usual taboos around death will be temporarily lifted. People taking part will read and discuss contemporary poetry, and have the opportunity to produce their own work. The cost for this three-hour workshop is £20 per person, and everyone is very welcome. Booking is essential; get in touch with Janet via email or on 470941 or to secure your place.
'As someone with personal experience of addiction and recovery as well as deep bereavement, I know how valuable it can be to explore and express the darker emotions through creative writing. Addiction is something that touches so many families, and we all experience loss in some form. These things actually connect us as the deepest level, and yet they are still essentially taboo subjects. We're so grateful to the Isle of Man Arts Council for giving us the opportunity to lift these taboos.'