Survivors’ Poetry is a London-based national arts charity that works to support, promote and publish the poetry of people who have been through, or are currently in, the UK’s mental health system. We work with ‘survivors’ of psychiatric illness, drug addiction, sexual abuse, and mood-altering medication. Many of our clients have experienced the dark end of life in psychiatric hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation units, or counselling centres; all are trying hard to get their lives back together again.
Survivors’ Poetry was founded in 1991 by four poets who themselves had first-hand experience of the mental health system. Even today many of our staff, volunteer helpers, advisors and trustees come from a survivor background. This fact puts the organisation in a unique position to act on its vision of a society in which survivors can work towards emotional and mental stability through the discipline and truth to self that is a prerequisite for the imaginative expression in language of traumatic experiences. Survivors’ Poetry actively supports and promotes the sheer linguistic talent that many survivors bring to their insight into their own condition and that of others.