Shamshad Khan

Poet & Resilience Coach

Surviving With Love

This project was delivered for women attending Care from Clare sessions for women survivors of sexual violence. I was invited to the group to work with the women, using poetry as a means to express and empower themselves. As Clare Schilizzi herself put it,  “to get our voices heard and in the process regain some of that stolen power.”

The poems and writing in this collection reflects the different responses the women have to life and their journeys of recovery. In all of this we kept a focus on love and care for ourselves. There are solo poems that give an idea of individual life experiences and varied life skills (some of which are anonymous as requested by the contributors). There are also a couple of group poems that include words from all the women. They share with us honest words of pain, anger, playfulness and a bold resilience. During the sessions we also shared creative tips to stay positive and these are included for you to try out.

We hope that you and they are inspired by this collection of creative and powerful words. Words that encourage us to survive and thrive with love.

We would like to thank and congratulate the women who took part in the workshops and contributed to this book. They were open to the process; having a go, even when they felt unsure. It was wonderful to see them grow in creativity and confidence. They responded to the exercises; writing poems inspired by music, objects, poetry and discussions about their favourite women role models.

Shamshad

Read the whole publication below