Caleb Woods / Harnessing Darkness: Expressing Mental Illness Through Poetry
October 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Bindery hosts Caleb Woods for his first book, Harnessing Darkness: Expressing Mental Illness Through Poetry. Please join us!
Harnessing Darkness traces the struggle of living with mental illness. Through sections aptly titled Birth, Life, Death, and Rebirth, Caleb Woods gives readers the experience of what it’s like to live in the mind of someone who struggles with a roller coaster of emotions on a daily basis. Caleb chooses to open the doors of his mind, allowing you to see not only the dark, but the light. Caleb lets each nightmare, depressed thought, and abundance of anxieties come to the surface with harrowing and hopeful poems about the struggles of living with mental illness and growing up gay in the Bible Belt. Experience loss, pain, heartbreak, and hope with Harnessing Darkness.
Caleb Woods began writing at a young age, first to cope with bullying at school and later to soothe his depressing thoughts. Growing up in the small town of Pisgah, Alabama, he was surrounded by religion and found it increasingly difficult to reconcile his faith with his sexual orientation. Caleb was told he would spend an eternity in hell for being gay – and he believed it. He was first officially diagnosed with PTSD in high school after his closest friend died unexpectedly. He moved away to college but ignored his symptoms and didn’t seek help for his mental illness. After years of suffering silently, he began to accept his sexual orientation and eventually met his now husband, Luke. Despite a happy marriage, Caleb continued to suffer with symptoms of PTSD. At their peak, the night terrors and panic attacks finally drove him to seek professional help. His doctor quickly confirmed that PTSD was the diagnosis and it wasn’t something to be taken lightly. Today, Caleb receives treatment for PTSD, panic disorder, and depression by attending reoccurring therapy sessions. Throughout these years, Caleb wrote poetry about his specific struggles surrounding mental illness and growing up gay in the Bible Belt. In his debut book, Harnessing Darkness: Expressing Mental Illness Through Poetry, he reveals his most personal thoughts – some dark, some light, some suffering, some uplifting, but all existential. Currently, Caleb lives with his husband in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a full-time writer, author, and poet who enjoys reading, traveling, playing board games, and collecting pop culture memorabilia.
Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event. The Bindery bar opens at 7pm; event starts at 7:30pm.
As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Harnessing Darkness, order below and put your request in the comments field.