Eminem-inspired rapper-poet says writing saved his life (via BBC)

Click here to view the video for Duke Al Durham’s “We Are Heroes.”

A rapper-poet who began writing to escape intrusive thoughts has said the process “saved my life”.

Duke Al Durham kept his poems secret for years, but now hopes they will help others.

The 27-year-old, from Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, has called for a National Poetry Library for Wales.

The Welsh government said the National Library of Wales was already home to the country’s literature and poetry collections.

Mr Durham, who has obsessive compulsive disorder and whose stage name is Duke Al, wants to make poetry more accessible.

He began writing aged 11 after listening to US rappers Eminem and 50 Cent.

“I use it as an escapism, as a therapy,” he said.

“Without writing I don’t know where I’d be, to be honest with you.”

He kept his work to himself for years, because he “didn’t want to tell anybody how I was feeling, because I thought I’d be labelled as crazy or people wouldn’t understand, so the pen to the page was my outlet”.

He added: “I feel like if I didn’t have that I don’t know what I would have done to cope. I didn’t show my poetry to anybody until years later so I feel that creativity was there for me and potentially saved my life.”

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