Poems of Survival


SKU e-book Category

130 in stock


By Sue Holt


ISBN: 978-1-904697-61-9
Published: 2005
Pages: 100
Key Themes: manic depression, bi-polar disorder, Christianity, poetry, mental health system


Manic depressive and Christian Sue Holt, warms and inspires us with her brilliant collection of poems. Her dark and uplifting poetry is full of sentiment, strength, faith and vitality. The themes dealt with are tough; funerals, families, abuse, love, pity and bewilderment. Christianity gives her the faith to bounce back and rejoin life. Although it must be said that the writing process itself seems to have waved a magic wand for us, the reader as well. Pain has a lot to say, and Sue says it eloquently. She shows that abuse can cause mental distress, and she articulates her dismay that the mental health system is adding to that suffering, not taking it away. Poetry takes it away.

About the Author

Sue Holt was born in Liverpool in 1967 and is now living in Rochdale. Shortly after the birth of her son, illness forced her to leave her job as a social worker. She was diagnosed with manic depression and has since been hospitalised on numerous occasions. In order to overcome her illness Sue developed her creative abilities, and started expressing herself through writing and sculpture. Now, having had her first collection of poems published, she is an effective campaigner fighting the stigma that surrounds mental illness. She has helped set up a group for fellow mental health survivors called ‘Freedom’ which provides support and training.

Book Extract


Endless days spent in bed
Thoughts of other days
Not far away
Although a million days from here
How absurd.

A need to feel needed

Useful to family and society

But in the insane world I occupy
My usefulness is smallness itself
Alone in the dark
During summer months
A pillow and quilt for company
How absurd.

A real effort is needed
To overcome
This feeling of hopelessness
That is beginning to take hold

Although at night whilst the world sleeps
Awake I toss in my bed
How absurd.

The day will come

When these thoughts lift
And I will look back
And laugh perhaps
At how I felt
At how serious it was then
How absurd.

Also Available

‘Depression Ate My Soul’ by Sue Holt
Paperback / e-Book

4 reviews for Poems of Survival

  1. Fiona Whelpton (verified owner)

    Sue Holt’s poetry is truly inspirational. She shows how faith can overcome great difficulties, and that no matter what, survival is possible. Everyone will find strength in her poems.

  2. Nicky Luck (verified owner)

    Holt submerges her life experiences of manic depression within her deeply moving and inspirational poetry. Her language is dark and grabbing and she is a highly skilled poet at evoking pathos. This is my favorite book of poetry and I recommend it to anyone.

  3. Brian May (verified owner)

    Sue Holt’s book gathers dozens of vibrant poems. She has that gift which only great writers possess, that makes you very concerned about what she’s talking about, in this case, mental illness. A very emotional journey…

  4. Delta Thompson (verified owner)

    Sue Holt’s portrayal of Jesus Christ is courageous to say the least. Sue admits to feeling no repentance to not describing Jesus’ love through reverent verses in ” Poems of Survival”. Sue describes her encounters with God through “snot and tears”, and makes no apology for the offence this may cause others, for Sue this was the reality surrounding her conversion to knowing the living God.
    Sue knows that Jesus was with her in situations, which many may shy away from. To her Jesus is not the “untouchable” God often portrayed; He is her rock and deserves to be acknowledged through her painful choice of words. Sue knows you may find her reality uncomfortable, but her greatest wish is that you will discover the reality of God’s love shining through her honesty.

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