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Poet in residence role expands as nation marks National Poetry Day

Last updated: 01/10/2020

Beth Calverley, The Poetry Machine, is extending her role as the UHBW Poet in Residence. Image credit: Amanda Thomas and Oh Magazine

Beth Calverley, The Poetry Machine, is extending her role as the UHBW Poet in Residence. Image: Amanda Thomas and Oh Magazine

On National Poetry Day, the Arts and Culture Programme at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) is delighted to announce that the role of Poet in Residence, currently held by Beth Calverley, is to be expanded thanks to funding from hospital charity, Above & Beyond.

Beth Calverley, her Poetry Machine, and her health focussed creative coaching is highly sought after all around the UK. Thanks to funding from Above & Beyond, Beth will now be available for one day a week to offer the benefits of creative writing to all parts of the hospital Trust.

Anna Farthing, arts programme director at UHBW, said she was delighted to share the news in time for National Poetry Day today (1 October 2020). She said: “Beth’s unique method of live co-creation has already demonstrated value in boosting mood, alleviating boredom, releasing stuck feelings, restoring a sense of personal identity and bringing people together in a wide range of settings.

“We are delighted that her bespoke, responsive and collaborative approach, developed through visits to South Bristol Community Hospital and with the Teenage Cancer Trust, will now be accessible to an even broader range of participants at this challenging time.”

Poetry can provide a structure for reflection as well as an outlet for creative expression. In addition to supporting patients and carers, Beth will also be contributing to staff wellbeing projects, developing resources with the library team, and collaborating with other artists, writers and musicians to provide opportunities for creative respite both on site and online.

Beth Calverley said: “Co-creating poetry with UHBW staff members, patients, carers and families, often during life-changing times, is a whole-hearted honour and I'm joyful that it has been so well-received by the Trust.

“Poetry and creative writing are gentle, powerful sources of meaning that can help people to notice, express and process what is important to them, from people to places, past to future. Now that my residency has been extended, I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Trust, enabling more explorations of memories, ideas, stories and poems in a rainbow of imaginative, supportive ways."

Julie Worrall, director of fundraising and development at Above & Beyond, said: “It is thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we have been able to support Beth’s amazing work at the Trust for another year. Beth’s work helps to lift patients’ spirits and we are delighted that she will now be able to reach even more patients at our hospitals.”

You can follow Beth’s work on her website www.thepoetrymachine.live and on Twitter @bethcalverley.

Notes to editors:

Issued by the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust Press Office, pressoffice@uhbw.nhs.uk

About National Poetry Day:

This year, National Poetry Day takes place on 1 October 2020, and the theme is Vision. Everyone is encouraged to get involved with activities on the day, to See It Like a Poet and to #ShareAPoem. National Poetry Day generates an explosion of activity nationwide, thousands of amazing events across the UK – on doorsteps and at kitchen tables, in gardens and streets, in schools, libraries and public spaces – and in hospitals - all celebrating poetry’s power to bring people together. 

Find out more about National Poetry Day here.

About Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond is the NHS charity for Bristol city centre hospitals. With your support we can create safe, modern and friendly environments that reduce anxiety and offer calm spaces for all. Together we can ensure Bristol’s hospitals have world-class facilities and the very best equipment for treating the 989,000 patients cared for each year. Let’s grow the leading expertise in the hospitals by funding innovative research and clinical trials. Join us and stand behind the dedicated 11,450 NHS staff and support their development and training.

Each year we fundraise to make real difference to patients, their families and the staff who treat them at Bristol’s hospitals.

Find out more at aboveandbeyond.org.uk.

Registered Charity No. 1170973 Company number 10394287