poetry – an antidote to depression

Bibliotherapy, the practice of prescribing literature for its rehabilitative effects, is the latest addition to my lexicon, gleaned from a Washington Post article about a teenager’s winning letter in the 2015 Library of Congress Letters About Literature competition. The winner, 16-year-old Aidan Kingwell of Oak Park, Ill., wrote her letter to Mary Oliver, the author of the poem Aidan credits with turning away from suicidal thoughts when she was 13, When Death Comes.

The Washington Post article ends with the following two paragraphs:

Aidan Kingwell’s entire “Dear Mary” letter is available here.

For copyright reasons we are not able to reproduce the poem here. Go to page 10 of the book by Beacon Press here. You can hear Mary Oliver read the poem here. 



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