John Fox, PPM
Founder & President
John was born in Cleveland, OH. He attended Boston University from 1973–1975 and transferred to Bard College, graduating with a Degree in English with a minor in Poetry in 1977. In 1979 he moved to Ananda Cooperative Village in Nevada City, CA. In October of that year, he was certified by The Yoga Fellowship to teach Raja Yoga. He continued to live at Ananda until 1984, studying and practicing Raja Yoga and meditation.
After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in January of 1984, he began one year later to train in the field of Poetry Therapy. His training occurred with Joy Shieman, RPT, on the Mental Health Wing at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. He received his Certification as a Poetry Therapist in Spring of 1992. He served on the Board of The National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT) from 1992 to 2005. From 2003 to 2005 he was President of NAPT. John was given the Distinguished Service Award by NAPT in 1995 and the Pioneer Award in 2010. John wrote Finding What You Didn’t Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making (1995) and Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making (1997) published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/G.P. Putnam. In 2005, Poetic Medicine was translated and published in Korea. His work is featured in the PBS documentary, Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine (2008).
Between 2000 & 2015 he was adjunct associate professor in the Expressive Therapy Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He taught courses in poetry therapy between 1997 and 2015 at Sofia University (formerly ITP) in Palo Alto, CA. Between 2005 & 2015 he taught at the Sophia Center for Culture & Spirituality at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. From 1993 to 1997 John taught at John F. Kennedy University in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology and then at JFKU from 1997-2014 in the Arts & Consciousness Department in Berkeley, CA.
John founded The Institute for Poetic Medicine in 2005. His work is known nationally and internationally.