Today is National Memory Day.
Mother’s Day; Armistice Day; International Women’s Day – most such ‘days’ are commemorative, writes Literature Works CEO, Helen Chaloner. They are about remembering a particular historical or precious moment, person or thing.
Today is different. It is a commemoration certainly. But it is a commemoration of memory itself; how memory is intrinsically linked to identity, our sense of self, our childhood, our individuality and how we think.
And how memory is a natural bedfellow of poetry – that ‘flash upon the inward eye’ as one of our best-loved national poets William Wordsworth said.
And just what the loss of memory actually means.
Loss of memory is often one of the first signs of dementia, and one of the most distressing.
Today is National Memory Day and this week is Dementia Awareness Week.
Dementia can affect any one of us, some of us at a surprisingly early age. This week the Alzheimer’s Society is highlighting that dementia does not discriminate. We are pleased to partner with them, alongside the Poetry Archive and the University of Plymouth, to mark this day in this particular week.
We are united in our care for those living with memory loss, their families and carers and we are united in a cultural sense too: we all have an interest in the impact of poetry and creative writing on health and wellbeing.
We invite you to reflect on the subject of memory today; to read some of the superb creative writing that reached us as part of our challenge for you to write about memory; and to consider a contribution, however modest, to our campaign. Just £250 will place a poet in residence into Memory Centres, Social Day Care Centres and care homes so that more individuals can benefit from the joy and spark of the art of poetry.