Bristol poet Shagufta Iqbal has been exploring poetry and mental health at Glenside Hospital Museum and has launched a new poetry film and social media series to mark World Mental Health Day.

Earlier in the year, Shagufta was appointed to Glenside Hospital Museum as part of our A Poetic City Writer in Residence programme.  Her new poem explores how we have survived lockdown, and how we can come together to support the most isolated in our communities in the coming months of uncertainty and local lockdowns. It’s been made in collaboration with filmmaker Jon Hardy and illustrator Ana Velandia. The work will also be shared across Glenside’s social media channels – visit their website to find out more.

Shagufta says of the work: “I think most of us have been affected by COVID-19 and lockdown, in different ways, and to varying extents, but the journey we have been on in the last few months has put us in uncomfortable and often stressful situations. This piece discusses how the journey from A-Z, has not been a linear one, which many people who have experienced depression can relate to.

But I also wanted to talk about how there is a power is starting afresh. Despite the tragic story of Chatterton, he did something in his lifetime and his art, that not many before him were able to do. And that is to re-write the story, to put a new voice, experience and truth into a rigid and exclusive world of literature. It is the trying, the small steps towards light, where courage truly lies.”

Glenside Hospital Museum houses collections relating to the history of mental health care, set within the grounds of the building which opened in 1861 as the Bristol Lunatic Asylum. This important collection paints a vivid picture of the life of patients and staff and an insight into the institutions run for the care of people with ill mental health.

A Poetic City is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

National Lottery Heritage Fund