William Dean Ford is a versatile poet and spoken word performer, and during the pandemic he provided Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing programme with a weekly ‘Poetry Prescription’ in response to the uncertainties we all faced during those difficult times.
His creative journey began with writing to cope with social phobia, anxiety, depression and agoraphobia that developed over many years of living alone after growing up ‘in care’.
Ironically, his experiences have meant he has for a long time considered topics of living in isolation, deprivation and uncertainty about what the future holds in order to gain the perspective to survive them. His words will have struck a chord during the pandemic with people experiencing similar feelings, albeit for different reasons.
Humorous/satirical writing was crucial to William developing a ‘survival mindset’ and was the first kind of writing he shared at an open mic spoken word event. This resulted in the kind of personal growth embodied by his words which are on permanent display in the foyer of Hafan y Coed at University Hospital Llandough “We grow better tomorrows when we plant good seeds today”.
Will has inspired others to share their own words. He believes self-expression is a crucial survival tool and that engaging with the self-expression of others is central to social cohesion. We are each one, we are also part of each other. Together, we are society. All that can be felt, we can all feel, and when we remember that, we can never be alone.
“Will has been a long-term supporter and contributor to Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing programme. I’d like to say thank you to Will. His spirit and wit through his words has lifted many during a very uncertain time and we are truly grateful for his continued support.”
-Simone Joslyn, Head of Arts and Health Charity
Will has kindly gifted this poem to the Arts for Health and Wellbeing programme, as we reflect on the past year.