There might be a slight change in focus on my blog over the next 18 months as I settle into a new part-time job as a Project Worker for The Reader Organisation. Part-time because I’m still very much part of my children’s lives although they are increasingly grateful whenever I leave them to their own devices – and because I am guarding my time to continue to write and submit poems for publication. I’ll continue to blog about what I’m reading (I think I might be blogging even more about this) and about my writing projects but I won’t be running many writing workshops or courses in the near future. I’ll keep my poetry blog, And Other Poems, updated although the poems might occasionally be posted on days other than Tuesdays and Fridays.
I am going to be part of the Reading Revolution
I’m excited to be starting a new job and with such a fantastic organisation. The Reader Organisation describes itself as “a charitable social enterprise working to connect people with great literature through shared reading”. It’s mission is “to build a Reading Revolution”. This is an enterprise where staff sign off their emails, not by giving their job title after their name but by stating what they’re currently reading. How wonderful is that?
The Reader Organisation has established the movement of shared reading as a practical way to develop good mental health, increased wellbeing and social inclusion.
After extensive training, some of it in the fabulous city of Liverpool, near to where I was born and home of The Reader Organisation, I’ll be setting up and running four, weekly, Read Aloud Groups for people with dementia in four Wiltshire Libraries. Read about the research behind this imaginative initiative here. There is fascinating and uplifting evidence that
For older people and those living with dementia, shared reading groups improve quality of life through cognitive stimulation, social interaction and meaningful engagement each week.
For now, though, I need to prepare for a few days away from home and pack my suitcase, not forgetting a few good books for the journey (I’m currently reading The Third Shore: Chinese and English-Language Poets in Mutual Translation, Ed W.N. Herbert & Yang Lian, published by Shearsman and East China Normal University Press). Wish me luck!