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We are here to awaken soulfulness in the human voice.  Our site offers voices and resources regarding the healing power of poetry. We are collectively dedicated to nurture and strengthen the human capacity to creatively connect to Self, Other, Community, the Natural World and the Divine.


This PBS documentary tells the stories of patients
whose lives have been dramatical

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.


Give birth again
To the dream.


—Maya Angelou

from  On the Pulse of Morning


The Institute of Poetic Medicine offers tools and support to people to heal body, mind and spirit through the creative and therapeutic process of hearing, speaking and writing poetry.


The work of IPM flows in the deep current of these rivers:

  • We fund Poetry Partner Programs that bring poetic medicine to people often considered at the margins.
  • We offer a 3-year Certified Training program that provides certification in the practice of poetry-as-healer.
  • We provide multiple-ways to respond and  participate on-line as a way to grow an interactive IPM community.
  • We support John’s work throughout the US and internationally to teach, heal and promote the power of poetry to comfort and transform, inform and enrich both person and community.
  • We provide development in-services for those involved in helping professions such as pastoral care, medicine and education; we also provide inspiration and sustenance to community activists and organizers.
  • We are a resource center for the inspiring and useful ways poetry-as-healer makes a difference and applies to the varied facets of our lives.
  • Free Poetic Medicine Journal. A beautiful, inspiring and informative quarterly journal.

On this website you will find all of these “rivers” and we hope you will take some time to find what interests, moves and motivates you to make poetry more a part of your life.





July 19 - 30, 2017

Project Avary Summer Camp

For the 2nd year John will be working with Project Avary that serves the children and teens of a parent who is incarcerated.

He will be joined by Rev. Trina Leshay Johnson.

More about Project Avary
Closed Program

August 26, 2017

Jewish Family and Children Services
San Francisco, CA
9:30 a.m.  - 2:30 p.m.

Finding Words That Matter: Rekindling Our Purpose in Healthcare Through Poem-MakingHitting the Wall — When Our Practice Is Not Perfect

Presented with Redwing Keyssar, RN
An Invitation to All Healthcare Professionals!

A Three-Session, Three-Season program
You must register for all sessions.

open to the public
download brochure