Picking up the pieces. Katie Farnsworth wasn’t going to share her story. She didn’t write it for anyone to see, she wrote it for herself at five am one fateful morning. Words poured on the page like she never imagined. She had not written a poem since she was ten, but something was different it felt right. Katie was at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017, the night of the Manchester attack.
What happened that night made news all over the world. On the 22nd of May 2017 at 22:31 BST , a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device, packed with nuts and bolts to act as shrapnel, in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena. 23 people died and over 500 were injured.
Katie wrote a poem that has been retweeted over 400+ times. She wrote it without expecting a huge response, she wrote it for herself.
Katie talked with us about the poem and its meaning to her and the community of Manchester.
Question – What made you want to share your story?
Katie – If I’m honest I wasn’t going to share my story! I wrote it at around 5 am when the thoughts were flying through my head and I couldn’t sleep. It was really personal so I only shared it with my Mum but without my permission, she posted it online (without giving me chance to edit it or correct it!) but people started saying how emotional it is and started saying I was inspirational and saying how the poem helped them with their experience. So I shared it myself and I had so many positive comments I was overwhelmed I would never have expected that!
Q – Why poetry? Have you found poetry as a form of healing?
K – Honestly I’m not sure, I used to do the occasional poem when I was about 10 years old and I haven’t done it since but I just felt like it in the moment and it just flowed on to the paper!
Q – How have you found strength since the attack?
K – I don’t know if I would call it strength! I just said what I felt in that minute and I’ve found it so much easier to deal with now
Q – How has the response to the poem made you feel?
K – Massively grateful and overwhelmed! I never thought it would even be seen by anyone never mind thousands and to end up on the news. I literally have only received love and I’m glad I could help some others who were there with their experience.
Q – What would you like the world to know about the city of Manchester?
K – That it was and always will be full of love, we always come together and we are one!