poetry therapy


NEW! Book Reviews of Resources for Poetry As Healer
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PBS Broadcast of
Healing Words: Poetry & Medicine

Featuring John Fox, John Graham-Pole, MD and the Shands Arts-in-Medicine program, produced by Healing Words Productions.

Click Here to find DVD

View a trailer of the movie

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Community of Poets

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Poetic Medicine in Action
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Interview by Britt Bravo

and the Arts and Healing Network
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Since 1981, I have been passionately committed to helping people discover their healing poet, the one that lives and breathes within each of us. I teach, consult, write and mentor individuals, professional groups and organizations across the globe.

It doesn't matter if you have never written poetry or have written for a long time. If you are new to poetry or just want to deepen your writing practice, this work can support and inspire you.

In early 2005, I formed The Institute for Poetic Medicine, the next manifestation of my life's mission and purpose. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to healing body, mind and spirit through the creative and therapeutic process of hearing and writing poetry. Our vision is to awaken this creative and healing voice in the human spirit. We are collectively dedicated to nurture and strengthen the human capacity to connect to Self, Other, Community, the Natural World and the Divine. On behalf of myself and my Board of Directors, I invite you to experience The Institute for Poetic Medicine:

Listen to presences inside poems.
Let them take you where they will.
Follow those private hints,
And never leave the premises.

Jellaludin Rumi

translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne

Poems stir us, encourage us to wake, breathe deeply and experience life! Poems are alive. They hold energy. You can discover this life and energy in your words, in the cadence of your voice, and the feeling inside your body upon reading a poem. There are indeed hints inside of poems that become available to you as you write and hear them.

What poems offer relates not only to the present moment, but may come as messengers from the past and clues important for your future messages for you and for humanity. Poetry joins the personal with the universal.

Writing allows us to discover how vulnerabilities and strengths can co-exist, even thrive together. Poems can reveal deep insight and compassion. They can give voice to what is raw and wounded in your life and that honesty, creatively expressed and explored, can bolster and guide you through rough times. Your writing can transform you at profound levels.

"What do I want to say besides thank you?  When I set out for the workshop, I had no idea I would be so completely changed or become so completely myself again because of poetry and you." --Shannon Klassel,   New York, New York


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newsletter archives


Poetry Therapy, Mindfulness and Creativity
A Lecture and Conversation
Sponsored by Lapidus
Bristol, United Kingdom
Wednesday, July 9
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Fee: £12 or £10 members/unwaged
Click here for more information


At the Bend in the River: Listening as a Catalyst for Creativity
Stroud, Unitd Kingdom
Hawkwood College
Friday, July 11
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
£50; (or £43 unwaged)
Click here for more information


Poetic Medicine:The Healing Art of Poem-Making
as a Way to Strengthen the Practice of Mindfulness
Sponsored by Lapidus
Bristol, United Kingdom
Saturday, July 12
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Fee: £50 or £34 members/unwaged
Click here for more information


Poetry Medicine in Lindau, Germany
A writing retreat for creativity, healing and mindfulness
July 30-August 2, 2014
In collaboration with Anne Hoefler
John will offer a retreat at Haus Zeitlos
near Lindau, Germany and the border of Switzerland


At the Bend in the River
A Five-Day Workshop at Rivendell Retreat Center
Sponsored by Ray McGinnis and Write to the Heart
Bowen Island, British Columbia
August 6-10, 2014
Fee: $690
Click here for more information


What Is Trying to Happen Here?
An Exploration of Responding to Your Life
Portland Oregon
at Peg Edera’s Summerlin House
November 7 - 9, 2014


Poetic Medicine & Health Care
Sponsored by Arts-in-Medicine of Asheville, NC
November 12 - 16, 2014



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