Marks of an unwanted rainbow: New book documenting experiences in the care system through art and poetry

Paul Yusuf McCormack was known as a giant of a man in the care-experienced community. He grew up in care homes during the 1960s and 70s, although Paul never described this as ‘care’. During this time, Paul was subjected to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, which had a far-reaching and lasting effect on his adult life. It was not until he was 52 years of age that he finally released the torrent of pent-up pain that had been trapped behind the defensive walls he constructed during his traumatic childhood. 

Paul channelled this outpouring of emotion into words and paintings, creatively capturing the experiences of his early life. A collection of these works is encapsulated in Marks of an Unwanted Rainbow. This book offers 52 poems and many more pieces of artwork that chart Paul’s incredible and inspiring journey. Paul died of Covid-19 just weeks before the book was completed. His friend and colleague, Siobhan Maclean has worked with his friends and family to complete the book and share Paul’s work with the world. Paul called for us all to be the difference. 

Watch the launch event

Siobhan Maclean
Registered Social Worker