Literature for well-being project leads to the publication of two new books
O Mam Fach was one of a series of Writer Commissions devised and delivered in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales. The project was led and devised by pioneering participatory artist, literary activist and poet Rufus Mufasa, and was delivered in partnership with People Speak Up and Plant Dewi.
The project was an innovative approach to providing safe spaces for mothers to process the pandemic, to write for wellbeing and to create poetry that will implement changes. It utilised the power of literature and words to start a peaceful protest that challenges the frontline of motherhood. Organisations, artists, individuals and communities all had opportunities to learn alongside one another. Personal and professional development for all was at the heart of this collaboration, along with legacy and love.
The project has led to the production of two printed books; The Frontline Collection, an anthology of work by more than 35 people that reflect upon the experience of womanhood, and Ruffling Feathers, a collection of poems by Louise Bretland-Treharne.
“I learned so much about myself on this creative journey with Literature Wales & People Speak Up. It is the only time that my experience as a woman and a parent, particularly through the pandemic has ever been openly shared, let alone asked about. Telling these stories, processing them as poetry and prose, discussing them and working on them with Rufus has formed a huge part of my personal healing from not only the collective trauma of the pandemic, but also the trauma of motherhood.” Participant 1
“I loved how we could be honest about motherhood, instead of pretending it is all ok. The world is full of judgemental people, and Rufus turned up asking us for advice!” Participant 2
The launch event in January 2023 saw professionals, professors and organisations come together in person and online to celebrate how we can all work together without threat and share the best practice our communities need.