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William Sieghart’s Poetry Pharmacy

William Sieghart welcomes you into his Poetry Pharmacy where he serves up poetic prescriptions to soothe the soul.

Founder of the Forward Prize for Poetry and National Poetry Day, William Sieghart welcomes you into his Poetry Pharmacy where he serves up poetic prescriptions to soothe the soul.

For William, poetry has never been the distant, lofty pursuit that it's sometimes portrayed as. He's always been an advocate of the therapeutic power of poems. It was this conviction in the power of poetry to transform our lives that led him to become a very different kind of pharmacist.

Since 2012, William has travelled the length and breadth of Britain and beyond meeting people with an issue they're keen to get off their chests. Following a consultation, William dips into his extensive library and selects a poem that's perfectly suited to advise, console or otherwise illuminate whatever is preoccupying his patient.

This is a process in which poetry leaps off the page and reveals its vital curative properties. Willam explains that hearing a poet's take on a problem can offer great comfort. The distance afforded by seeing our own emotions formalised and made beautiful combines with the connection we can feel with the poet - a stranger who somehow seems to understand what we're going through.

In this programme, William meets Rebecca who has been experiencing a loss of control in her life due to serious illness, Sarah whose 18 year old triplets are about to the fly the nest and head off to university, and Suzanne who is coming to terms with her role as carer within her family.

Presenter: William Sieghart
Producer: Caroline Thornham
A Novel production for BBC Radio 4

28 minutes

Last on

Sat 25 Jan 2020 23:30

Broadcasts

  • Sun 19 Jan 2020 16:30
  • Sat 25 Jan 2020 23:30