Interactive, poetry, healing
The Poetry Health Service (PHS), is a brand new, free creative service offering contemporary poetry as a tool for connection and healing. Featuring a range of poems contributed by writers from across the world, the PHS will prescribe poetry panaceas to users written by poets including Roger Robinson (winner of the 2019 TS Eliot Prize), Theresa Lola, Anthony Anaxagorou, Keisha Thompson, Shagufta Iqbal, Salena Godden and USA-based poets Roya Marsh, Buddy Wakefield and Aisha Sharif. This is poetry by the people for the people.
Founded by Manchester-based poet, playwright and performer, Hafsah Aneela Bashir, the PHS champions the importance of art in supporting our mental and emotional health. It is available to access via a dedicated website and phoneline, and users are gifted a complimentary poem – a poetry panacea – following the completion of a colour-based flowchart.
In the spirit of connection users will also be invited to respond to their poetry panacea and the PHS experience with a Haiku of their own – a traditional Japanese form of poetry consisting of three short lines that do not rhyme.
Sharing a range of exciting, inspiring, heart-warming and healing poetry from this unique literary apothecary, the Poetry Health Service is open.
Interaction design by Coney represented by Gareth Damian Martin & Tassos Stevens
This service is free to use – click on to the weblink to access the Poetry Health Service
The Poetry Health Service is available to access via a dedicated website and text service. The website is free to use and the text service will cost the same as a standard text message to a UK mobile.
About Hafsah Aneela Bashir
Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a Manchester-based poet, playwright and performer originally from East London. Founder and co-director of Outside The Frame Arts, she is passionate about championing voices outside the mainstream. Winner of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2019, she was writer-in-residence with Manchester Literature Festival, is an Associate Artist with The Poetry Exchange, an Associate Artist with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and a Supported Artist at The Royal Exchange Theatre. Her play Cuts Of The Cloth was commissioned for PUSH Festival at HOME in 2019. Her debut poetry collection The Celox And The Clot is published by Burning Eye Books. She has worked creatively with Manchester International Festival, Ballet Black Ldn, HOME Mcr, Manchester Literature Festival and ANU Productions Irl. Before Covid-19 she was developing her SICK! Festival commission, Four Dholis And A Divorce exploring mental health set in the South Asian community. She is currently writing the libretto for The Bridge Between Breaths, a Tête-à-tête commission in collaboration with Gareth Churchill and FormidAbility.
About Oldham Coliseum Theatre
Oldham Coliseum Theatre is one of the most established venues in the North West with a rich history in Greater Manchester dating back to 1885. Over 130 years after opening, Oldham Coliseum is one of the oldest theatres still operating in Britain today.
The Coliseum produces original productions which are presented at home and on tour. The repertoire is drawn mainly from plays written in the 20th and 21st centuries and new commissions, offering a platform for writers from the North West and further afield, and encouraging a flourishing community of new writers.
“For an example of a vibrant regional theatre punching above its weight, you need look no further” – Guardian
Intrinsic to the town’s on-going regeneration, the Coliseum develops creative programmes to facilitate learning, engagement and community cohesion, providing a wide variety of theatre performances and participatory activities for people from all communities in Oldham, Greater Manchester and beyond.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre is a cultural and educational charity that works with over 150,000 individuals per year. Registered Charity No 508829
The Coliseum is supported by Arts Council England, Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The theatre receives corporate sponsorship from local business interested in helping to promote the arts in the area and supporting the regeneration of Oldham. A much-loved venue that is held in great affection in the town, the Coliseum also has a growing network of supporters who want to become a part of the theatre’s exciting story.