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More Than My Mind - Haiku as Creative Therapy as Creative Therapy

Wales Haiku Journal editor, Paul Chambers has been working alongside mental health charity, Newport Mind, to deliver a series of haiku and creative writing workshops for service users. The work produced in the workshops is now being published in a commemorative book, entitled More Than My Mind.  


2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Newport Mind, and as part of the celebrations, users of the charity took part in a Creative Therapies Project. The project involved writing and photography workshops led by Paul Chambers, and National Geographic photographer, Daniel Alford.


Working on the philosophy of ‘writing to reconnect’, the Creative Therapies Project workshops were delivered at Newport Mind, developing an existing creative writing group at the charity. All of the writers were experimenting with the haiku form for the first time.


The project fed into other existing groups at Newport Mind, such as the Music Appreciation Group, Men’s Group, and the Women’s Group, and the charity were also able to utilise the project to connect with minority groups in Newport at statistically higher risk of mental health problems. Haiku written by members of all of these groups are being published in More Than My Mind.


Here we present a selection of haiku highlights, from a range of new writers that feature in the book…



summer sky

slight drizzle on the grass

daffodils blooming


cloudy summer sky

the sound of traffic

the taste of water


falling snow

meditation on the mat

lovely cuppa


Norman Tang



a bee flies


across the sky


Mark Haines



the trees are full

the squirrels bounce

sun going down


Paddy Sloan



I look up at the skies

the mushrooms



Karl Hermanis



low summers sun

columns holding

ivy clad beams


golden shafts illuminate

fall’s fallen



chill in summer

dragonfly shimmers

it’s lonely sortie


Mark Vrettos



kids are playing

the clanging of the net

as the ball strikes


Giles Hibberd



autumn evening

I pinch an apple

from the tree


Daniel Jones



Spring grass shines

People candy



Rains winter happiness

Quiet ground



Ball bat breeze

Insects fly



Patrick Jeremy




the energy

of the tree


Lyne Cooper



a crow’s call

a child’s cry

a fluttering


Karen Watkins


and intermittent movement

of a very heavy cloud


poor visibility

wave breaks

and rain falling


Cordelia Okwusoga



lovely summer morning

waking up with the noise

of both babies crying


Rakhal Smith



lots of crops

in the fields

the smell of rain


Annastasia Chikat



The launch of More Than My Mind will take place at The Riverfront Theatre in Newport on Thursday 8 November at 7pm, and Wednesday 14 November at 1pm. There will also be an exhibition of work on display at The Riverfront from 5-16 November.

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