Image shown: As They Blossomed

Image shown: As They Blossomed

As They Blossomed, a poetry collection by Magic Box Writing Group, edited by Lani O’Hanlon, has recently been published by Waterford Healing Arts Trust. Magic Box Writing Group is a group of 13 writers accessing the mental health rehabilitation and recovery services in Waterford. As They Blossomed is their first publication and features 37 poems reflecting each writer’s observations on life and their experiences.

The collection is available from Waterford Healing Arts Trust at a cost of €10.00.

Writer and movement artist Lani O’Hanlon has been working with this group over the last six years through the Iontas arts and mental health programme, which aims to support wellbeing and recovery through person-centred arts experiences, such as visual art, music, drama, dance and writing. Iontas is run by Waterford Healing Arts Trust in partnership with the Waterford Wexford Mental Health Services and takes place in eight mental health settings in Waterford.

In her foreword to As They Blossomed, Lani O’Hanlon writes ‘Many of these poems were crafted over time, one line at a time. The reader might want to take some time to read more slowly in order to appreciate the day by day, sensual details of a life… Each of these writers experiences the world in a unique and rare way. I hope that you can slow down, breathe, and enjoy their poems.’

Dr Darina Sloan, Consultant Psychiatrist with the HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s Waterford Mental Health Recovery and Rehabilitation services, adds: ‘We are immensely proud of the Magic Box Writing Group in creating this work over the past six years with the support of writer Lani O’Hanlon. The publication of As They Blossomed marks a significant achievement for each contributing writer and adds to the legacy of the Iontas Arts and Mental Health programme.’

The Iontas Arts and Mental Health programme is funded by Waterford Wexford Mental Health Services and the Arts Council, and is one of many arts experiences which Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) brings to UHW and the wider community to alleviate stress and anxiety and to support creativity. For more information visit


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