At ReLit we are passionate about reading and writing – and especially the capacity of great literature simultaneously to stretch the mind and relax the spirit. As many of our loyal friends and followers know, we’ve begun by trying to reach out widely through the trusted old medium of print and the brave new world online. We are delighted that we have sold over 7,000 copies of our anthology Stressed Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind and that over 35,000 people have registered for the two initial runs of our online course with FutureLearn, Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing. But we’ve also been testing our ideas face-to-face with smaller groups, by way of workshops with serious offenders in Grendon Prison and with stressed-out teenagers in schools, including a multicultural Academy school in Tower Hamlets. So we’re delighted to be teaming up with the inspiring teacher and writer Sally Bayley. She’s been running a highly successful intensive summer school – a kind of week-long Oxford tutorial – for several years. Now she is going to bring it to Worcester College and focus it on the processes of writing and the links between those processes and the complex psychologies and volatile states of mental health of writers such as Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. And we’re going to be among the tutors. It promises to be a great collaboration … so, welcome Sally.
Jonathan & Paula