The Freud Museum

Events Archive

22 June 2013


Loss and Recovery: Conversations between Poets and Psychotherapists

Three distinguished contemporary poets in readings and conversations with psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, exploring themes of trauma, loss and recovery in their work.

Bernard O’Donoghue (poet)
and David Morgan (psychoanalyst)

Sam Willetts (poet)
and Gerry Byrne (psychotherapist)

Jane Draycott (poet)
and Caroline Garland (psychoanalyst)


Bernard O’ Donoghue was born in Cullen, Co. Cork in 1945. He is a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, where he teaches Medieval English. Publications include six collections of poetry, Poaching Rights (1987), The Weakness(1991), Gunpowder (winner of the 1995 Whitbread Award for Poetry), Here Nor There (1999), Outliving (2003) and Farmers Cross (2011), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. His Selected Poems was published in 2008 and a verse translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in 2006.

David Morgan is a psychoanalyst and member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, the British Psychoanalytic Association and the British Federation of Psychotherapy. He is a Training Analyst and Supervisor at the BPA, formerly Consultant Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic for 20 years, and now works in private practice. He also works as a consultant with NHS workers who provide support for patients who require in-patient treatment. Also consultant psychotherapist for WBUK a political organisation that provides support for Whistleblowers. He also enjoys playing music and writing.

Sam Willetts is a poet whose first collection New Light for the Old Dark (2010) was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize as well as the Costa, Aldeburgh, Forward, and London Festival awards. He is a former Winner of the Bridport Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in The Spectator, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Poetry [U.S.], LRB, TLS, Granta, Identity Parade [Bloodaxe], Private Eye, and elsewhere. Sam read English at Wadham College, Oxford, and worked intermittently as a teacher, journalist and travel writer, among other occupations. In his late 30s, having dabbled in drugs since his early teens, he acquired a full-blown addiction to heroin. New Light for the Old Dark contains poems about that experience and its consequences. However these form only one strand of a collection which also looks at childhood, war (his mother was a Holocaust survivor), romantic love, bereavement, the natural world, different forms of displacement, and the possibility of personal spiritual recovery. Sam Willetts remains committed to recovery from addiction.

Gerry Byrne is a consultant nurse and child and adolescent psychotherapist, working in the NHS and privately in Oxford. He is clinical lead for the Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service (Oxon, Wilts and BaNES) and the Infant Parent Perinatal Service (Oxon). With two colleagues he runs the annual Children in Troubled Worlds conference which promotes the contributions psychoanalytic thinking and the arts can make to work with troubled children and with Janet Bolam, theatre director and writer, he runs Between the Lines - writers and psychotherapists in conversation.

Jane Draycott was born in 1954 in London. She is a poet whose publications include No Theatre (1996), Christina the Astonishing (1998), Prince Rupert’s Drop (1999 & 2004), Tideway (2002), The Night Tree (2004), Over (2009) shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Award 2009, and Pearl (2011), a translation of a 14th-century poem which won the Stephen Spender Prize for Translation and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Jane has a particular interest in sound art and her audio work with Elizabeth James has won several awards including BBC 3 Poem-for-Radio and a London Sound Art Award. Jane is a tutor on postgraduate writing programmes at Oxford University and the University of Lancaster.

Caroline Garland is a consultant clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, who founded the Unit for the Study of Trauma and Its Aftermath in the Adult Department of the Tavistock Clinic. She has worked for over fifteen years with a number of colleagues specialising in the theoretical understanding and the psychotherapeutic treatment of trauma.

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