Second Spoken & Heard Event to Focus on Stories of Mental Health

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The Dairy Barn Arts Center is pleased to announce the second in the series of Spoken & Heard events: “The Path Not Chosen: Stories of Mental Health,” Thursday evening, April 19, 2018 at 6 p.m. in the Dairy Barn Art Center Gallery. The event will be hosted by newly appointed Athens Poet Laureate, Kari Gunter-Seymour and will feature a covey of poets from throughout Ohio who have bonded together to share stories of living with mental health challenges. The event is Sponsored in part by NAMI Athens.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, nearly one in five Americans deal with mental health issues. But how many people talk about it? How many people still live in darkness due to the stigma attached to mental illness– paths that they did not choose?

This diverse group of poets will share truths, poems from ground zero, of their mental health journey – some raw, some tightly controlled – all of them honest and from experience. Medication changes; relationships with family, friends and not so friendly; and discovery of their relationships with themselves are among the topics offered. These poets bring a much needed voice and frank discussion to the issues and the experiences of living with mental illness and its many issues.

Opening poet will be Athens’ own Jean Mikhail. Mikhail has published in Fifth Wednesday Journal, Canary, and Pudding Magazine, and has participated in the Women On the Line and Women of Appalachia Project readings. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and plays guitar in in an Old Time Music group called “The Trophy Wives.”

Finishing out the evening, those attending are invited to bring a poem and sign up for an open mic, which will close out the evening.

The Spoken & Heard series hosts poets from throughout Ohio with a featured Athens poet opening each event, monthly through June. All poetry events are free to the public.