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12th December 2018

"I don’t know where it came from, but I knew its name: healing." - Scott-Patrick Mitchell reflects on his Fellowship commission

By Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Image of "I don’t know where it came from, but I knew its name: healing." - Scott-Patrick Mitchell reflects on his Fellowship commission

Scott-Patrick Mitchell was shortlisted for the Red Room Poetry Fellowship 2018. Due to the high quality of submissions, shortlisted poets were offered a commission opportunity from Red Room Poetry, written in the theme of their proposed project for the Fellowship.

 

You may have noticed a common theme running through the poems here: healing. My poetry hasn’t explored this topic in a long time. You see, my sister passed away from cancer in 2012. Since then, my poetry has largely focussed on grief. And anger. And denial. And all those other stages the broken you performs on, orating poems to your own personal void, hoping something sticks. Takes the pain away. Makes sense. Bursts into light.

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Read Scott-Patrick's poems

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That light finally came earlier this year. Not as a burst as such, but rather a soft, engulfing glow. I don’t know where it came from, but I knew its name: healing. 

When you reach a point of healing, especially after so much inner turmoil, you come to admire how it fills the width and breadth of the hollow inside yourself. And with such speed too, if you let it. What once made you cry now makes your heart tenderly reach out with the intent to comfort. It’s surprising to feel healing after so long, but it is so darn welcome.

So welcome, in fact, that I figure it might as well find a home in my writing. And it has. Such as in the poems you have just read here. The healing here covers self, the young writers I mentor and you as in us. Yes, that covers you, me and them over there. Everybody. Even the people we don’t particularly like. Especially the people we don’t particularly like.

I created these poems from fragments I have gathered over the last however long the hurt has been there, thumping. Fragments from inside myself, fragments from the world around me. Instinctively, that feels like a “good” way to approach healing: gather fragments, bring them together to create a new whole, a new sound, a new frequency. Let them find a home on a page or a stage or inside the shape of another person’s ear.

My intent, moving forward, is to explore new ways to amplify this frequency of healing through my poetry and the performance of my poems. I’m currently exploring performative healing rituals (and my word am I finding them in the most unexpected places… but more on that another time) and how they might compliment my poetry. Why? To help me further heal, to help you heal (if you need it, that is) and – most importantly – to help the World heal. After all, I’m just so grateful to finally be healing. So why not pass it on.

I’d like to thank Red Room for giving these poems a home and I would also like to acknowledge and pay my respects to the Whadjuk Noongar Nation and their Land on which I live, write and heal. Oh, and thank you… for reading.