Angi Holden, Monica Suswin, Marion Clarke and World Suicide Prevention Day

Anything that can prevent a person from committing suicide must be
worthwhile. World Suicide Prevention Day highlights the issues and facts
surrounding suicide and hopes that increased awareness of the sad and desperate plight of people contemplating suicide will help to reduce the number who tragically end their own lives. In the UK alone 6,233 suicides of people over the age of 15 were registered in 2013, 252 more than in 2012, which represents a 4% increase. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for men between 20 and 34 in England and Wales, representing 24% of all deaths in 2013 and, for men aged 35-49, 13% of deaths. The male suicide rate is three times the female rate.

The daily poems put up on the Poetry Shed website hope to spread this
awareness further and, along with the World Suicide Prevention Day initiative,
to create a greater understanding of the issues involved. Just having someone
who will listen in confidence and without judging can make a big difference to
someone in crisis and save lives. There are links included to promote the
excellent work carried out by suicide support and prevention groups such as
Samaritans and the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Nicky Phillips


She stands in her back yard,
a too-thin cardigan
shrugged around her shoulders,
the ache deep in her belly
where once she carried him.
She swirls the dregs of whisky
around the glass, throws it back,
catches a glimpse of Belfast sky
through its hobnailed base.
Her friends say he’s somewhere
out there, looking down.
She searches for a trace
of a wanderer, of a lost soul,
finds only darkness.

Angi Holden


off the wall

I spent the night in a cave of undergrowth
defying the helicopter chopping its circles in the sky

I squatted on the rim of a burnt out crater
hollowed out my vocal cords
until dawn when the fox crossed my path

Monica Suswin is a writer, and has been a psychotherapist, radio producer and journalist. Her interest is in the creative process of writing and her blog contains extracts from her book manuscript on Creative Therapeutic Writing. She explores all aspects of writing for wellbeing and healing grounded in her own personal experiences. As well as running the Cabin on the Hill as a retreat, Monica also facilitates Writing Workshops.

rose gold dawn
insignificant makes a

wardrobe …she
finally resists the urge to check

calming all that noise

Marion Clarke is a writer and artist from Warrenpoint, County Down. Her work has appeared in international journals such as The Heron’s Nest, Modern Haiku and Frogpond, as well as in the Mainichi Daily News, Japan and London’s Financial Times. Several of her poems feature in Ireland’s first national haiku collection, Bamboo Dreams, published by Doghouse Books. In 2012 she received a Sakura Award in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Contest, and in the following year was shortlisted for the Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Award for Excellence and Innovation. In April 2015 she was presented with an award at the inaugural Seamus Heaney Awards for Achievement in Belfast for her poetry facilitation services to the winners in the schools section. Her blog is at http://seaviewwarrenpoint.wordpress.com

2 thoughts on “Angi Holden, Monica Suswin, Marion Clarke and World Suicide Prevention Day”

  1. The words & poems from the four people in this last post area are a fitting conclusion to an important two week project. I want to thank Abi for making it happen & all the poets who participated — it’s helped me think about suicide prevention in new ways. So thanks Everyone. And please – listen to the sweet music video with Katie Melua – it’s one to have bookmarked for when any of us need a lift – the proverbial good note to be left with 🙂

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