Presentation Title

Where Poetry Comes From: The Relationship Between Mental Illness and Creativity

Faculty Mentor

Anne Richards

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

Location

15-1828

Session

Humanities 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Poetry, as Audre Lorde describes it, "is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought". Through this medium, the audience is given a tool to look into events through different perspectives that they weren't able to see before. With poets like Sylvia Plath and Neil Hilborn, people with mental illnesses were given a voice that allowed the dismantlement of their stigma. These poets defy the idea that art needs to be universal by writing about the personal and exploring their individual identities through the intersection of creativity and mental illness. Plath's suicidal ideations and life experiences come to life in her poetry as a way to show people a darker side of what her reality is. Hilborn looks back at his childhood as a way to contrast the symptoms he had as a child and the way they are seen now that he is an adult. By writing about injustices, these poets open the conversation about mental illnesses that could be often overlooked by the idea of the universal.

Summary of research results to be presented

In this research, Plath and Hilborn use the personal in order to speak up about injustices that they underwent. What was concluded was that by writing poetry that is not universal the audience was able to relate and discover injustices that they had not thought about before. The relationship between creativity and mental illness for these two poets allowed them to obtain a voice that was not heard from before. Bodies of work that allow the writer to be personal reaches the common people allowing them to form opinions and become more open to what is stigmatized. The creativity that comes from the poet's mental illness uses epistemological knowledge that gives new perspectives for those who are unaware of the struggles that come with living with mental illness.

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Nov 18th, 2:00 PM Nov 18th, 2:15 PM

Where Poetry Comes From: The Relationship Between Mental Illness and Creativity

15-1828

Poetry, as Audre Lorde describes it, "is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought". Through this medium, the audience is given a tool to look into events through different perspectives that they weren't able to see before. With poets like Sylvia Plath and Neil Hilborn, people with mental illnesses were given a voice that allowed the dismantlement of their stigma. These poets defy the idea that art needs to be universal by writing about the personal and exploring their individual identities through the intersection of creativity and mental illness. Plath's suicidal ideations and life experiences come to life in her poetry as a way to show people a darker side of what her reality is. Hilborn looks back at his childhood as a way to contrast the symptoms he had as a child and the way they are seen now that he is an adult. By writing about injustices, these poets open the conversation about mental illnesses that could be often overlooked by the idea of the universal.