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Join us to hear two extraordinary voices testify to the way poetry and music can help parentless child refugees overcome trauma.

Eric Ngalle Charles, a Cameroon-born writer, poet and playwright based in Wales, came to the UK after fleeing persecution in his village. He has written of being child-trafficked into Russia, his flight to Malta and Cardiff, and what it means to be a refugee facing asylum applications in a foreign language and land.


Things that happened to me were too painful to accept for a long time but I found writing as a way of overcoming my trauma."

Eric Ngalle Charles

Anna Macdonald, a Scottish doctor and singer-songwriter from Scotland, is founder and director of the charity Play for Progress, which helps traumatised and unaccompanied child refugees, teaches them music, and helps them cope with the asylum and care system.

Your music class makes me feel safe and part of something good. I can forget missing my home, my mother, forget feeling alone and scared."

Anna Macdonald

'Poetry and...' is a public event series, curated by Professor of Poetry Ruth Padel. It highlights poetry’s connectivity to all areas of life and learning, from genetics to PTSD and the interpretation of dreams. The events are free and include refreshments, book signings, and the opportunity to speak to authors.

Event details

The Chapel
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS