I have had a diagnosis of Bi-Polar Affective Disorder since 1994 with frequent forced hospital admissions under the Mental Health Act ("Sectionings"). So, in my opinion, to have secured my PhD place is nothing short of a miracle! My history of depressive illness dates back into my teenage years when I suffered from severe Anorexia Nervosa. Recently I have discovered that, amazingly, writing poetry helps me stay well by lessening the stress levels which can exacerbate my illness. I have had my poetry published in Ireland by Poetry Ireland, the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, and the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queens University Belfast. where I completed my Masters in Poetry, gaining a Pass with Distinction.
The money I raise through this Crowd Fund will help pay my PhD fees and make it possible for the first woman in my family to gain a PhD! And a Bi-Polar woman poet at that! My work will involve writing a 60 page book of poetry as well as a critical element of work and over the 6 years of my PhD (I will be studying and researching part-time) I would envisage getting further exposure for my writing outside the academic sphere. For someone with my mental illness to gain this level of educational achievement is for me a real triumph! Please help make it happen!