Category Archives: LATEST NEWS

Normal? Festival of the Brain


Living Words is thrilled to be working in partnership with Quarterhouse Folkestone and Folkestone Fringe to be curating Normal? Festival of the Brain, in May 2015.

Exploring the brain from all angles Susanna is working with Allegra Galvin and Di Dever to present workshops, discussions and performances to spark debate and give a helping hand to all of us on our wellbeing journeys!

Delving in to what this complex pound of flesh means to each of us, we will also be exploring notions of consciousness and how our environment affects our mental health.

For more info, please take a look at the Quarterhouse website by clicking on the logo above.  Feel free to contact us with any thoughts, non-thoughts and suggestions!




Dementia Congress 2014

Susanna led a taster workshop with colleague Danuta Lipinska at this year’s Dementia Congress. INSIDE OUTSIDE allowed participants to reflect upon their working processes, in particular their communication and listening skills with specific residents.  A meditative start to the congress day, the workshop included the use of silence, mindfulness and the spoken and written word.  Here they are as they entered the building from blustery Brighton seafront!  And the next pic shows Susanna at the Living Words presentation area, promoting our book THE THINGS BETWEEN US!

sus and D 2015 congressSus at congress 2015


Arts and Health Evaluation…

An eternal issue for all those working in the arts, and in particular in arts and health contexts – Mita Pujara organised a day long dive in to evaluation processes and called upon artists to discuss what an ideal evaluation process might indeed be.  Lots of food for thought emmerged and we were delighted that Mita held up and read from our book THE THINGS BETWEEN US, as evidence of evaluation in process. 2015 will see this interesting dialogue continue, as Mita looks to form an artist discussion sharing group to delve further in to challenging and changing the norms in expected and accepted forms of evidence and evaluation.  Here’s to that!


Dementia Care Awards – Life Story

Susanna was thrilled to judge the Ken Holt Memorial Award for the 2014 Dementia Care Awards.  Alongside John Shaw from The Life Story Network, Susanna was delighted to give the award to Robert Grady from Birmingham and Solihul Mental Health Foundation Trust.  Here is Susanna catching up with Robert the day after the awards ceremony at the Dementia Congress!

Sus and Robert

Robert Grady, Birmingham Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust – See more at:
The 2014 Ken Holt Memorial Award Robert Grady, Birmingham Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Sponsored by Lifestory Network – See more at:
The 2014 Ken Holt Memorial Award Robert Grady, Birmingham Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Sponsored by Lifestory Network – See more at:

THE THINGS BETWEEN US book launch and celebration


On May 1st we held a book launch and celebration to mark the next stage of Living Words’ development. We saw an extract of Susanna’s show WEAVE; heard from chair of Trustess Joe Moran about Living Words’ wants and intentions; listened to Professor Paul M. Camic discuss the poems as evidence for more arts in health practice; witnessed Julie Carroll, whose father Geoff was a participant in a Living Words residency, speak movingly about the work from her experience – we loved how she’d thought Susanna was a ‘crackpot’ until she received her father’s book and began reading it with him; launched our new anthology THE THINGS BETWEEN US, with readings by Susanna, Myra Barrs and Philip Cowell; and finally Phillip united us all with a toast!  You can find out more and buy THE THINGS BETWEEN US by clicking here.  Contact us for more info!  Here are some pics, taken by the fabulous photographer and intermedia artist Zbigniew Tomasz Kotkiewicz.  With thanks to our hosts Arts Admin and Toynbee Studios


Join us on March 12th at the Free Word Centre, Farringdon, London. 6.30 – 8pm.

Susanna will be speaking about Living Words recent projects and debating the future of
our work with David Clegg (Trebus), Penny Fosten(The Reader), Myra Barrs and
chair Harriet Gilbert (BBC).  Susanna’s work with poet James Berry will also be discussed
and the evening will be concluded with poet Malika Booker reading some of James’

Click here for details.  Tickets to be booked in advance.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Please note: The door will be going to the James Berry Trust

Forrester Court, residency


Our Forrester Court residency, commissioned and supported by Westminster Arts, concluded in July with a sharing in the home. It is a large home and we worked in three units there. Most of the people we worked with were people who seldom left their bed or room. We would like to thank all who took part, residents and staff. As well as the one to one work with residents we led our ‘Living Creative’ workshop training for staff. We focussed on communication and looked at the words of the residents as well as their own. This led to staff members choosing a personal project to imbed the use of residents books once we had left.


Dementia Awareness Week – we’re tweeting!

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Today is the start of Dementia Awareness Week in the UK and we have started tweeting @LivingWordsUK . The aim of this week is to get people talking about dementia #TalkDementia. We have decided to tweet live from residencies and workshops each day – the words you will see are the words of people who are living in carehomes and their words are not normally heard in society outside of the home. Due to legislation the people who speak have to remain anonymous but their consented words can be shouted out…


Living Words residency @CareUK

Living Words new residency at Care UK’s Forester Court got off to a lively start as Artistic Director Susanna spoke about the project, and Living Words more generally, at the care home’s ‘Let’s Talk’ event.

During this project we will mainly be working with people who spend all their time in their rooms, though we will work with a few people who are able to move about the home.  Staff workshops will also be taking place during the residency to look at reflection on personal practice and creative communication.  These are bespoke for Forrester Court.  We will also facilitate an end of project sharing event.

We will post info about the residency as it goes along and words direct from the residency will be tweeted by @LivingWordsUK from this week.

Thank you to all the staff and residents for making us feel so welcome!