Today I am delighted to be featuring a very important poetry anthology, Please Hear What I’m Not Saying. This is a charity composition that raises money for the UK mental health charity, Mind. Editor & author Isabelle Kenyon has been kind enough to lend her time to discuss this collection today.
Please Hear What I’m Not Saying
Isabelle Charlotte Kenyon (Editor), Karan Haveliwala
With over 600 submissions, poets from around the world put their pens to paper to create this anthology, enthused by a common goal to raise money for UK mental health charity, Mind. With poems focusing on mental health from a wide range of experiences, this book aims to continue the worldwide conversation about mental health.
‘These poems crackle with the electricity of experience and sing with the effort of rendering that experience in language. This is work that stands a few inches away from your face and tells you tales that shudder with a terrible beauty; these voices must be listened to because what they are saying is something that all of us, whoever we are, need to know.’ Ian McMillan
The profits from this book go to UK Charity, Mind.
Trigger warnings by chapter: Section One: References include war, depression, grief, alcoholism, bulimia, trauma, suicide Section Two: Sexual abuse, self harm, suicide threat, Borderline personality disorder, electro shock therapy, razors Section Three: Postpartum depression, hospital ward Section Four: Anxiety, pills, Borderline personality disorder, eating disorder Section Five: Poverty Section Six: Alzheimer’s Section Seven: Depression Section Eight: Therapy
Thank you to Danielle for letting me guest blog today! I wanted to spread the word about the MIND Poetry Anthology which I have compiled and edited. ‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’ has recently been released on Amazon. The Anthology consists of poems from 116 poets (if I include myself!) and the book details a whole range of mental health experiences. The profits of the book with go to UK charity, Mind.
The book came about through my desire to do a collaborative project with other poets and my desire to raise money for a charity desperately seeking donations to cope with the rising need for its work. I received over 600 poems and have narrowed this down to 180.
I believe that what makes this anthology different, is the collaborative nature of the project – although I have had the final artistic control, all the poets involved are passionate about the topics of mental health which they have written about, and about the wider aim of the book to raise money for Mind. Truly, our voices are stronger together.
As an editor, I have not been afraid to shy away from the ugly or the abstract, but I believe that the anthology as a whole is a journey – with each section the perspective changes. I hope that the end of the book reflects the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for mental health and that the outcome of these last sections express positivity and hope.
I would love to share with you a few poems from the book:
By Sarah Evans
Everyday, projecting an invention of myself,
talking too much, speaking too little,
wrapped in layers of self-defence,
needing to be understood, not knowing
what to say, always perched outside
the magic circle of belonging,
poised at the party’s edge,
heart thumping, sweat crawling,
nausea pressing, world swimming,
longing to fit in, but reluctant to conform,
yearning for acceptance for
my unacceptable self,
this strange being, performing
By Sallyanne Rock
Immobile, I lay waste to days
Letting dust gather at my toes
Pins prickle sat-on hands
I wait, resenting daylight
Purpose passes by the window
Stillness stares back
From a crumpled pile on the sofa
Blanket-soft, nose cold
Standing to swallow cheap comfort
I face down the silent wall
Fruit furs and collapses
I watch it drip through basket holes
This poem was previously published for World Mental Health Day at https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com.
*Learn more about the project here.
Isabelle Kenyon is a Surrey based poet and a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York. She is the author of poetry anthology, This is not a Spectacle and micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered, published by Origami Poetry Press. She is also the editor of MIND Poetry Anthology ‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’. You can read more about Isabelle and see her work at http://www.flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk
I want to extend a special thank you to Isabelle for providing this post and the above information. I am a firm believer that mental health awareness is more important now than it ever has been. I hope that each of you will take a bit of time to explore this collection and incredible cause.