Lifelong Learning Centre

Living with CFS

Posted on Thursday, 13 September 2018 at 10am
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
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One of our Creative Writing tutors, Cath Nichols, was very ill last year and developed CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) with pain. Last September her second poetry collection, This Is Not A Stunt (Valley Press) was launched but she found it difficult to promote it as she was so unwell.

Part of being ill in this way is the unpredictability of strength and stamina a person has. Cath’s walking and concentration were badly affected and she did not want to promise to guest at a poetry gig and then have to suddenly cancel! However, she did go to Scarborough for the launch and there is a recording of this on YouTube. She took five days to recover from this reading although she looks relatively chirpy! (Cath is on 8 minutes in after a warm-up poet, Wendy Pratt.)

More recently, Cath has been writing about the experience of having a long-term illness/disability and one of these poems was commended in the 2018 Hippocrates Awards. She was invited to the awards ceremony in Chicago in May but unsurprisingly did not attend! Cath read her commended poem in London on Thursday 5th July to the Medical Society of London with other winners. This was her first ‘long journey’ since the book launch.

Watch Cath introducing and reading the poem ‘Calculus’ below:

Categories: Blogging, Creative Writing