Virtual Connections is proud to announce the release of the Aphasia Art & Poetry Book! This book was created by people with aphasia in the Speaking Poetry Virtual Connections Group.
Speaking Poetry began in October 2020. Mark Harder, a person with aphasia and Virtual Connections member, asked to help run a poetry session with Dr. Brianne Kosch. Mark began writing poetry after his stroke and found that it was very therapeutic. It helped him express all the emotions that come along with stroke and aphasia. He wanted to help other people with aphasia learn to do the same. We interviewed Mark to hear more about his experiences living with aphasia and using poetry as an outlet in his recovery:
How long have you had aphasia?
I had a heart attack and stroke on February 1, 2018, which caused aphasia and low vision.
When did you start writing poetry and how has it helped you on your aphasia journey?
It was hard to describe my pain, my numbness, and loss. The doctor asked me what it felt like. Everything that I tried to say was like a poem. I wanted to express myself and thought it would help. It took three months to write my first poem, two years after my stroke.
What do you want others to know about poetry and aphasia?
Poetry gives people with aphasia freedom. Freedom to write about feelings, about circumstances, about hope. Freedom to create a thought or a six stanza of beliefs.
What has your experience been being involved in the Speaking Poetry Virtual Connections groups?
Speaking Poetry and Dr. Bri are nurturing and supporting poets that have aphasia – either new to poetry or seasoned poets writing again. Speaking Poetry lets us work on our speech and creativity. It is so therapeutic and encouraging to others.
What advice would you have for other people with aphasia who are interested in art or poetry?
Express yourself! Express yourself in words or in the material of choice. Be engaged in life. It stimulates your mind.
Speaking Poetry meets monthly on Virtual Connections. Members are encouraged to write or share a piece of poetry that inspires and moves them. Group members will discuss poems, provide feedback, and ask questions. Speaking Poetry is an incredibly supportive group where poets of all levels are welcomed.
Virtual Connections is a free program that offers free daily Zoom calls to people with aphasia and care partners. Sessions are offered on all sorts of topics including hobbies, music, dance, holidays, travel, food, and more! Virtual Connections is a great way to meet others with aphasia, practice your speech, and make friends.
We hope to see you on a Virtual Connections call soon!
Lingraphica Can Help
We help adults with speech and language impairments to reconnect with family and friends, improve communication, and live their best lives. Call us at 866-570-8775 or visit the link below to get started.