San Antonio, Texas
Cyra Dumitru, certified Practitioner of Poetic Medicine, was funded for a full academic year to provide In the Shelter of Poetry to students at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, in collaboration with the student counseling center.
In the Shelter of Poetry provided creative expression and emotional support for students struggling with situational and chronic depression, anxiety, traumatic memory, bereavement due to the loss of a family member, and severe financial insecurity that threatened their ability to complete undergraduate degrees. Meeting weekly for ten weeks throughout the Fall 2016 and the Spring semesters of 2017 with the sponsorship of IPM’s Poetry Partnership, In the Shelter of Poetry continued through 2018, was renamed Sunflower Poetry Circle and continued until February 2020.
Students were thrilled to welcome John Fox into the circle in September of 2017, and talk poetry-as-healing with him. An anthology called Walking with Energy of Roots was produced which features poems and essays by students. Furthermore, students active with In the Shelter of Poetry gave a dramatic reading of their work and perspective on poetry circle as healing to about 50 members of the St. Mary’s University community in April 2018.