Veterans Poetry

Posted on 6/20/2011 by The Bridge

The Bridge is proud to announce that its long-established Poetry Program has been the seed for a similar venture. When Patricia Thackray, Director of the Bridge Poetry Workshops lectured at the International Society For The Psychological Treatments of The Schizophrenias And Other Psychoses (ISPS), she inspired one member of the audience, Barbara J. Davidson, to found and run a similar program at James J. Peter's Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in The Bronx.

Barbara J. Davidson, LCSW, Clinician in Schizophrenic Treatment and Research (STAR) said, "Patricia Thackray's work and that of her clients influenced us to explore poetry in our own VA writing group. Our veterans enjoy reading published poems as well as writing their own." We at the Bridge are happy to play this role in enriching veterans' lives.

Ms. Davidson anticipates that her clients' work will appear in the quarterly national publication Veterans' Voices, the only publication dedicated solely to veterans' writings. This magazine was created by the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (HVWP) to further veterans' art and writing. Similar to the focus of our Bridge Poetry Workshop, HVWP's therapeutic writing program acknowledges veterans' experiences and helps to build self-esteem through creative expression.

The Bridge Poetry Program provides clients with the ability to express themselves through an art medium that they are unable to express in any other way. The clients learn about themselves through their poetry, and their self-confidence and feelings of well-being are increased through their creative experiences. The Bridge Poetry Workshop meets twice a week and has been headed by Patricia Thackray for the past 25 years.

The Bridge has long supported veterans. In an innovative partnership, The Bridge, Community Preservation Corporation Resources (CPC-R) and The Briarwood Organization, successfully came together to develop a large parcel of City-owned land in the Melrose section of The Bronx for the Melrose Commons veterans' residence project. This ambitious project will include the development of affordable family housing for the community, senior housing and Bridge housing for 60 homeless veterans who have experienced significant challenges in returning from service.

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