Asylum 26.3 – Autumn 2019

At the heart of this issue is a special feature on Whittingham Lives, a two year arts and heritage project that honours the histories of those who lived at the Whittingham Asylum in Preston.

Asylum 26.3 cover

If art can open our minds, then so too – through experiences of wonder, magic and intensity – can psychosis. James Walker’s account, of the healing properties of  psychosis, resonates both with William Park’s notion of a personal latticework of comfort (article forthcoming in Asylum 26.4), and with Rust Cohle’s piece on his own psychedelic healing process.

We have moved on since the closure of Whittingham Asylum, but a number of pieces in this issue raise questions about how far: James Walker’s account of a more recent Asylum stay, for instance, and the Scornful Comedians’ satirical take upon Recovery.

Henry Bladon takes psychiatry to task for the four mistakes it keeps repeating; and Keir Harding shares what he has learned over years of trying to support people who are suicidal. Curiosity, he argues, allows us to expose strengths that are difficult to articulate.

There is much, in this issue, to spark such curiosity, including poems by Mark Schwalbe and Eala Yaldnif, a meditation on the language of emotion, by Alastair Kemp, and the account of the life of a character with a ‘heavy name for a thin body’, by William Park. We include too obituaries of two ‘touchstone’ figures – Dorothy Rowe and Jean Vanier – both of whom died this year.

Asylum has been out and about over the summer.

 


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