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Talking point: can literature be harmful?

In the previous step, we reflected on Anne Elliot’s advice to Captain Benwick, that poetry might sometimes exacerbate rather than relieve distress. We end the week by listening to the …

Talking point: reading aloud

So far in the course, we’ve listened to a number of poetry readings, and there are lots more coming up in the final two weeks. In weeks 5 and 6 …

Reading for wellbeing

Before we begin exploring the topic and texts for Week 1, we want take a moment to outline some of the key ideas underpinning this course and the work of …

‘Prayer’ by Carol Ann Duffy

Edward Thomas’ ‘Adlestrop’, which we looked at together in the previous step, is a poem about stopping and listening to the noises around us, and in this video, we’ll be …

Thank you

As we reach the end of the course, we’d like to take a moment to look back on the past six weeks, and to reflect on the journey we have …

Discussing poetry writing with Ben Okri

In this video, we speak to poet and novelist Ben Okri about his approach to writing poetry. Like Stephen Fry, Ben talks to us about the importance of poetic form …

Poetry in care homes

We heard from Dr Simon Curtis about the effectiveness of music therapy for people suffering from dementia. Now that we’ve spoken to Melvyn about how poetry was helpful in reconnecting …

Discussing dementia with Lord Melvyn Bragg

Earlier in the course, we spoke to Melvyn about his childhood reading habits, and about how poetry was a source of comfort to him during periods of depression. Here, we …

‘King Lear’ by William Shakespeare

One of our key texts this week is William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. The play begins with Lear relinquishing his crown, resigning from his position as ruler, and dividing up …