Calling Memory Cafés interested in hosting free, fun, interactive poetry and memory sessions. We train poets to run them and we’ll bring them to you.

Over 850,000 people in the UK today are living with memory loss due to early or mid-stage dementia. The vast majority of them are older people who learnt poetry by heart at school.

Our National Memory Day project places trained poets in Memory Cafés – in public libraries and other community settings – to recall poems and, through skilled facilitation, create new work as a group. Memories of poetry learned in childhood often come flooding back, sometimes for individuals who have begun to lose the power of speech. Exploring poetry helps to alleviate confusion, overcome speech difficulties and create new memories that contribute to improved quality of life. The results for all concerned are creatively rewarding and often deeply moving.

Literature Works has run successful sessions in Plymouth for the last year. We now announce the expansion of the project to cover the whole South West region, with a further 40 sessions planned over the next two years. We are currently mapping the region and looking at where interest lies. Let us know if you your group would like to take part – email
memoryday@literatureworks.org.uk

National Memory Day is the annual highlight of this Literature Works’ partnership project with the Poetry Archive and the Alzheimer’s Society, who help to train our poets. Anyone can join in on the day itself by reciting or reading a poem with someone who is living with memory loss. Anyone can write a poem and enter our National Memory Day Poetry Competition, which opens on National Writing Day, 27th June.

Heather Norman-Soderlind, Chair of Literature Works said today,

“Poetry touches all our lives. Creative activities like these workshops really support those with a diagnosis of dementia and their loved ones to live well with the condition for as long as possible. Remaining active and social are key elements to maintaining quality of life. We are proud, with our partners, to harness the power and joy of poetry in support of older people living with memory loss.”

For more information about the project, visit the website