Today’s post is not about class. It is given over to World Suicide Prevention Day.
Three days before his GCSE exams, a boy in my sons’ school committed suicide. It was ‘out of the blue’, as was that of the well-known human rights barrister Michael Mansfield’s daughter. It is something we are all close to; one it twenty think about suicide, in the UK thirteen men a day kill themselves. WHO figures estimate that around 800,000 people commit suicide each day across the world. It is an epidemic we should not ignore.
The poet Abegail Morley has been posting poems in the run-up to the day by a number of poets, including today’s featured poet Melissa Lee-Houghton (you can read here). Melissa sent me a number of poems for Proletarian Poetry, which I was privileged to read, and will be included in her forthcoming collection. They are amazing, shocking, and moving poems. But I have to admit finding it difficult to write the feature according to the PP premise; to take the class angle I felt it took away some of the power of the poems.
As with many people, suicide has been an issue I have been touched by and written about in the past and felt important to highlight here with two of Melissa’s poems; Accident, and Hangings. After reading them, please take time to check out the WSPD site. Thank you.
Melissa Lee-Houghton is a Next Generation Poet 2014. Her second collection, ‘Beautiful Girls’ is published by Penned in the Margins and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her work has appeared in the Guardian Review, The Quietus, Prac Crit and many others. A third collection, ‘Sunshine’ is forthcoming in September 2016. (more…)