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Dolly Sen is a writer, director, artist, filmmaker, poet, performer, playwright, mental health consultant, music-maker and public speaker. She has 8 published books since 2002; has taken on performance roles at The Young Vic, the Royal Festival Hall, and around Europe; undertaken a poetry tour; won a poetry award from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion; directed two plays and several TV films; and performed spoken word at City Hall and Oxford University.

Haiku for Mental Health Day at the Tate Modern.

30 September 2012

Blog

Portugal Prints Haiku Event Flyer

 On October the 13th, as part of DAO 'Diverse Perspectives' Programme, I will be filming the Mental Health Day event at the Tate Modern. My film is about Portugal Prints . They are awesome and amazing and inspiring, and it will be a honour to follow them around for the day, filming their Haiku event. This is what they say of their event: The Haiku Festival 2012 is a pilot online social media event developed by Westminster Mind’s art project Portugal Prints. On Saturday the 13th...

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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Paul Nash's 'Wittenham'

27 September 2012

Blog

 Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Auerbach's 'Reclining Head'

26 September 2012

Blog

 Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Barbara Hepworth

26 September 2012

Blog

 Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Nigel Henderson

24 September 2012

Blog

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Scottie Wilson

24 September 2012

Blog

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. Poetic...

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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Peter Howson

20 September 2012

Blog

black and white woodcut of a man wearing a coat. He is seen looking at the viewer with a half smile on his face

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. This is...

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Poetic Responses to Outsider Artist - Mark Gertler

19 September 2012

Blog

painting of a path through grass and trees looking out over a seaside bay with a headland in the distance

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. This is...

Comments: 1

Prescription of Stars

21 July 2012

Blog

Prescription of Stars

 PRESCRIPTION OF STARS Finally you prescribe me stars Not shame, nor loss of soul as side effect You prescribe me holding my head up high To find my soul again. It is easier to see under a light. Finally the universe is open to me Where I can fly, standing still. Because I have my...

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Poetic Exorism

28 June 2012

Blog

I know how to laugh at the absurdity of humanity and myself, I can laugh until my stomach aches, but I can also cry to the point of not wanting to live, and I can do both in the same day. Some will say that is bipolar; I will say it is a human response to human things. This last year has been tough. This time last year, my dad, one of my abusers, got knocked down and sustained brain damage, which accelerated his already present dementia. That incident last year kicked off a whole series of...

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Eyes - A poem by Dolly Sen

24 May 2012

Blog

 The Eyes The eyes, the eyes have it That light, That guiltless blaze That melts the poles And shames the sun  The eyes That give the biggest smiles In the slums, in the institutions, in broken homes, in every flavour of hell  I want to pinpoint The moment In the falling cards of unbroken age And find that gaze, that photograph, that day When the eyes stopped believing, stopped dreaming And saw the world for what it really is  The gallery of broken souls have no...

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Within WIthout You - an Outsider Art Exhibition and blog

4 April 2012

Blog

Within Without You Exhibition Flyer

I will be exhibiting at the Within Without You Exhibition, as part of the the Bath Fringe Festival. The exhibition was the brainchild of Brian Robert Gibson, whom I met at some Outsider In training, and with some other artists who are part of Outsider In www.outsidein.org.uk/, plus a few from further afield, this exhibiton and blog came about to explore what it is to be an outsider. As Brian says himself, this event is 'a space to explore where we are placed and where we place ourselves...

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Tattoo - A Poem

23 March 2012

Blog

'Grace Beats Karma' Tattoo

(language may offend) Tattoo They are there to erase the words“ Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt…” Written under my skin The story my daddy wrote and still wants to write Without sun, without stars, without flight and love Where the paper would end up in the bin. I know my torture bores you. This skin is torn and stuck together again I can turn total skin to total scar But that is still his story – not mine So now my skin holds sun, stars and flight Love is coming slowly...

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Concrete Skin - a poem

19 July 2011

Blog

Put a soul
As light as a feather
In concrete skin
And broken shoes
And say 'live human live'

Go into hell and make it look
Pretty
Find meaning
In your hopeless
dreaming
Death hurts
And life
has people
Who may
or may not

Love you

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Senseless flame - a poem

13 June 2011

Blog

blue man

The fire of your passion. Of your rage Of your life Would make the stars laugh If they could even see you  You are a senseless flame Hiding behind a flesh That cries in secret and judges other insignificant flames Behind insignificant scars  You are a light that needs to burn A light that this rat race has made putrid  No wonder the stars Laugh cynically At these little flames Ashamed Of the light they shed  You must burn A cage will be your payment  Perhaps it is...

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Dolly Sen pays tribute to Amita Patel

16 August 2010

Blog

I am well aware of the statistic that states one in ten people with serious mental health difficulties will commit suicide. But statistics are for the safe and sound, statistics turn human hearts into empty numbers. They don't say one in ten people are failed by the mental health service, they don't say one in ten sensitive, kind hearts couldn't take any more of the cruelty and selfishness of the world, or that one in ten talented, artistic people will no longer create. Two lovely people, two...

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Dolly Sen on poetry and the darkness of the soul

1 July 2010

Blog

I am mostly a happy go lucky person, with a certain cheekiness. I hope when people meet me, they detect the light in me. But I haven't had an easy life, as I have dealt with extreme abuse as a child, and its consequent madness and pain. Over the period of decades, my madness went from darkness to a strange light with some lapses into the shadows. The soul must do its work, dip into the shadows to see why they are there, and try to remove the caustic monoliths that cast them. I do not...

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Dolly Sen does broken-hearted poetry

1 May 2010

Blog

I had my heart broken earlier this week, am slowly climbing out of the hole. Part of the ladder out of the dark is writing my way out. So here is some of it... Songs to my shadow The sun is too much The sun is too much  Songs to my shadow Light makes you darker Light makes you stand tall There is more life in you Than there is in me I taught you how to breathe So much so There is nothing left in me The breath and dream do not like to meet The breath and dream are torn at the seams Where...

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Dolly Sen writes a poem while waiting for the gasman under a Lithium Sun -

22 April 2010

Blog

Am waiting for the gasman to make an appearance at my mum's so they can fix her boiler, I have done my work for the day, so instead of twiddling my thumbs, I did a bit of writing about bipolar. I was inspired by my friend Lynn Harrison posting 'Lithium' by Nirvana on her FaceBook page. LITHIUM SUN You say my sun shines too bright, but if you have had the dark clouds I've had, you could give nothing less. Yes, sometimes the sun blinds others. But with it, I can just about see where I am going....

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Dolly Sen woos with some lurv poetry

14 February 2010

Blog

To celebrate Valentine's Day, I am putting some of my love/erotic poetry up on here. You can tell I am in love with someone at the moment, otherwise I would dismiss valentines day as a cheap marketing ploy and be nailing chocolate hearts onto clouds, waiting for birds to piss on them! Come inside I may not let you in or maybe slowly or maybe you will keep me at the door teasing by waiting not quite all the way in not quite touching the side of my walls I want to pull you in deeper I want to...

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Dolly Sen says:

30 August 2009

Blog

I DO MIND FILMS presents ‘voices from a strange land’ Lurking behind tabloid interest in the mental health crises of celebrities is a vast unease around mental ill-health. The everyday stigmatisation of the Mad affects everyone. Films about madness are usually made by people who have not been there. Dolly Sen has been there, and is making a travelogue about a place few return from unscathed. Most films about madness turn us into something to be feared or vilified, it does not see...

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Dolly Sen will be reading from a tree top in Regents Park, London!

27 August 2009

Blog

Survivor's poetry and music - Mad Chicks and the Bath Mad Hatters Budding Hub Gallery, Fri 28th August 2009 6:00pm - 8:00pm A multi-faceted cornucopia of readings, talks and sound performances around the works of those who have suffered from mental illness from Mad Chicks and the Bath Mad Hatters. Mad Chicks is about women psychiatric patients and survivors of the psychiatric system. The movement developed from within Mad Pride, a user-led mental health civil rights movement, committed to...

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POETRY

1 May 2008

Blog

eccentric fish book cover

Pavement Poem Do not step here my dreams have fallen out of my pocket, and are hard to find again. Don’t grind them into the ground Otherwise I will have to wait for the rain to run into the cracks to the feed the daisies to push them back up again Sleep Walk Did you sleep well? No, I made a few mistakes. The truth keeps interupting. I don’t know how to end the dream. I forget to dot the tease And cross the eyes. Poor Dali, Making movies on how I see the world With dyslexic dogs...

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SOME POETRY FOR YOU

1 April 2008

Blog

barlight

Some people have asked that I add some of my poetry to this blog, so here goes: SPYCHOSIS let’s go fly a kite & see wombs reject clouds I’ve got the hole word in my hand crucified by candy floss I throw out the rubbish and find my dreams which ones are recyclable, I don’t know. Second-hand slumber is not so bad, sleeping in your dreams is good enough Something must be rested Do you realise you never look in your diary in dreams you always know what to do next. Waking is...

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